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Hedonism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Feb 072016
 

The term “hedonism,” from the Greek word (hdon) for pleasure, refers to several related theories about what is good for us, how we should behave, and what motivates us to behave in the way that we do. All hedonistic theories identify pleasure and pain as the only important elements of whatever phenomena they are designed to describe. If hedonistic theories identified pleasure and pain as merely two important elements, instead of the only important elements of what they are describing, then they would not be nearly as unpopular as they all are. However, the claim that pleasure and pain are the only things of ultimate importance is what makes hedonism distinctive and philosophically interesting.

Philosophical hedonists tend to focus on hedonistic theories of value, and especially of well-being (the good life for the one living it). As a theory of value, hedonism states that all and only pleasure is intrinsically valuable and all and only pain is intrinsically not valuable. Hedonists usually define pleasure and pain broadly, such that both physical and mental phenomena are included. Thus, a gentle massage and recalling a fond memory are both considered to cause pleasure and stubbing a toe and hearing about the death of a loved one are both considered to cause pain. With pleasure and pain so defined, hedonism as a theory about what is valuable for us is intuitively appealing. Indeed, its appeal is evidenced by the fact that nearly all historical and contemporary treatments of well-being allocate at least some space for discussion of hedonism. Unfortunately for hedonism, the discussions rarely endorse it and some even deplore its focus on pleasure.

This article begins by clarifying the different types of hedonistic theories and the labels they are often given. Then, hedonisms ancient origins and its subsequent development are reviewed. The majority of this article is concerned with describing the important theoretical divisions within Prudential Hedonism and discussing the major criticisms of these approaches.

When the term “hedonism” is used in modern literature, or by non-philosophers in their everyday talk, its meaning is quite different from the meaning it takes when used in the discussions of philosophers. Non-philosophers tend to think of a hedonist as a person who seeks out pleasure for themselves without any particular regard for their own future well-being or for the well-being of others. According to non-philosophers, then, a stereotypical hedonist is someone who never misses an opportunity to indulge of the pleasures of sex, drugs, and rock n roll, even if the indulgences are likely to lead to relationship problems, health problems, regrets, or sadness for themselves or others. Philosophers commonly refer to this everyday understanding of hedonism as “Folk Hedonism.” Folk Hedonism is a rough combination of Motivational Hedonism, Hedonistic Egoism, and a reckless lack of foresight.

When philosophers discuss hedonism, they are most likely to be referring to hedonism about value, and especially the slightly more specific theory, hedonism about well-being. Hedonism as a theory about value (best referred to as Value Hedonism) holds that all and only pleasure is intrinsically valuable and all and only pain is intrinsically disvaluable. The term “intrinsically” is an important part of the definition and is best understood in contrast to the term “instrumentally.” Something is intrinsically valuable if it is valuable for its own sake. Pleasure is thought to be intrinsically valuable because, even if it did not lead to any other benefit, it would still be good to experience. Money is an example of an instrumental good; its value for us comes from what we can do with it (what we can buy with it). The fact that a copious amount of money has no value if no one ever sells anything reveals that money lacks intrinsic value. Value Hedonism reduces everything of value to pleasure. For example, a Value Hedonist would explain the instrumental value of money by describing how the things we can buy with money, such as food, shelter, and status-signifying goods, bring us pleasure or help us to avoid pain.

Hedonism as a theory about well-being (best referred to as Prudential Hedonism) is more specific than Value Hedonism because it stipulates what the value is for. Prudential Hedonism holds that all and only pleasure intrinsically makes peoples lives go better for them and all and only pain intrinsically makes their lives go worse for them. Some philosophers replace “people” with “animals” or “sentient creatures,” so as to apply Prudential Hedonism more widely. A good example of this comes from Peter Singers work on animals and ethics. Singer questions why some humans can see the intrinsic disvalue in human pain, but do not also accept that it is bad for sentient non-human animals to experience pain.

When Prudential Hedonists claim that happiness is what they value most, they intend happiness to be understood as a preponderance of pleasure over pain. An important distinction between Prudential Hedonism and Folk Hedonism is that Prudential Hedonists usually understand that pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain in the very short-term is not always the best strategy for achieving the best long-term balance of pleasure over pain.

Prudential Hedonism is an integral part of several derivative types of hedonistic theory, all of which have featured prominently in philosophical debates of the past. Since Prudential Hedonism plays this important role, the majority of this article is dedicated to Prudential Hedonism. First, however, the main derivative types of hedonism are briefly discussed.

Motivational Hedonism (more commonly referred to by the less descriptive label, “Psychological Hedonism”) is the theory that the desires to encounter pleasure and to avoid pain guide all of our behavior. Most accounts of Motivational Hedonism include both conscious and unconscious desires for pleasure, but emphasize the latter. Epicurus, William James, Sigmund Freud, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and (on one interpretation) even Charles Darwin have all argued for varieties of Motivational Hedonism. Bentham used the idea to support his theory of Hedonistic Utilitarianism (discussed below). Weak versions of Motivational Hedonism hold that the desires to seek pleasure and avoid pain often or always have some influence on our behavior. Weak versions are generally considered to be uncontroversially true and not especially useful for philosophy.

Philosophers have been more interested in strong accounts of Motivational Hedonism, which hold that all behavior is governed by the desires to encounter pleasure and to avoid pain (and only those desires). Strong accounts of Motivational Hedonism have been used to support some of the normative types of hedonism and to argue against non-hedonistic normative theories. One of the most notable mentions of Motivational Hedonism is Platos Ring of Gyges example in The Republic. Platos Socrates is discussing with Glaucon how men would react if they were to possess a ring that gives its wearer immense powers, including invisibility. Glaucon believes that a strong version of Motivational Hedonism is true, but Socrates does not. Glaucon asserts that, emboldened with the power provided by the Ring of Gyges, everyone would succumb to the inherent and ubiquitous desire to pursue their own ends at the expense of others. Socrates disagrees, arguing that good people would be able to overcome this desire because of their strong love of justice, fostered through philosophising.

Strong accounts of Motivational Hedonism currently garner very little support for similar reasons. Many examples of seemingly-pain-seeking acts performed out of a sense of duty are well-known from the soldier who jumps on a grenade to save his comrades to that time you rescued a trapped dog only to be (predictably) bitten in the process. Introspective evidence also weighs against strong accounts of Motivational Hedonism; many of the decisions we make seem to be based on motives other than seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. Given these reasons, the burden of proof is considered to be squarely on the shoulders of anyone wishing to argue for a strong account of Motivational Hedonism.

Value Hedonism, occasionally with assistance from Motivational Hedonism, has been used to argue for specific theories of right action (theories that explain which actions are morally permissible or impermissible and why). The theory that happiness should be pursued (that pleasure should be pursued and pain should be avoided) is referred to as Normative Hedonism and sometimes Ethical Hedonism. There are two major types of Normative Hedonism, Hedonistic Egoism and Hedonistic Utilitarianism. Both types commonly use happiness (defined as pleasure minus pain) as the sole criterion for determining the moral rightness or wrongness of an action. Important variations within each of these two main types specify either the actual resulting happiness (after the act) or the predicted resulting happiness (before the act) as the moral criterion. Although both major types of Normative Hedonism have been accused of being repugnant, Hedonistic Egoism is considered the most offensive.

Hedonistic Egoism is a hedonistic version of egoism, the theory that we should, morally speaking, do whatever is most in our own interests. Hedonistic Egoism is the theory that we ought, morally speaking, to do whatever makes us happiest that is whatever provides us with the most net pleasure after pain is subtracted. The most repugnant feature of this theory is that one never has to ascribe any value whatsoever to the consequences for anyone other than oneself. For example, a Hedonistic Egoist who did not feel saddened by theft would be morally required to steal, even from needy orphans (if he thought he could get away with it). Would-be defenders of Hedonistic Egoism often point out that performing acts of theft, murder, treachery and the like would not make them happier overall because of the guilt, the fear of being caught, and the chance of being caught and punished. The would-be defenders tend to surrender, however, when it is pointed out that a Hedonistic Egoist is morally obliged by their own theory to pursue an unusual kind of practical education; a brief and possibly painful training period that reduces their moral emotions of sympathy and guilt. Such an education might be achieved by desensitising over-exposure to, and performance of, torture on innocents. If Hedonistic Egoists underwent such an education, their reduced capacity for sympathy and guilt would allow them to take advantage of any opportunities to perform pleasurable, but normally-guilt-inducing, actions, such as stealing from the poor.

Hedonistic Egoism is very unpopular amongst philosophers, not just for this reason, but also because it suffers from all of the objections that apply to Prudential Hedonism.

Hedonistic Utilitarianism is the theory that the right action is the one that produces (or is most likely to produce) the greatest net happiness for all concerned. Hedonistic Utilitarianism is often considered fairer than Hedonistic Egoism because the happiness of everyone involved (everyone who is affected or likely to be affected) is taken into account and given equal weight. Hedonistic Utilitarians, then, tend to advocate not stealing from needy orphans because to do so would usually leave the orphan far less happy and the (probably better-off) thief only slightly happier (assuming he felt no guilt). Despite treating all individuals equally, Hedonistic Utilitarianism is still seen as objectionable by some because it assigns no intrinsic moral value to justice, friendship, truth, or any of the many other goods that are thought by some to be irreducibly valuable. For example, a Hedonistic Utilitarian would be morally obliged to publicly execute an innocent friend of theirs if doing so was the only way to promote the greatest happiness overall. Although unlikely, such a situation might arise if a child was murdered in a small town and the lack of suspects was causing large-scale inter-ethnic violence. Some philosophers argue that executing an innocent friend is immoral precisely because it ignores the intrinsic values of justice, friendship, and possibly truth.

Hedonistic Utilitarianism is rarely endorsed by philosophers, but mainly because of its reliance on Prudential Hedonism as opposed to its utilitarian element. Non-hedonistic versions of utilitarianism are about as popular as the other leading theories of right action, especially when it is the actions of institutions that are being considered.

Perhaps the earliest written record of hedonism comes from the Crvka, an Indian philosophical tradition based on the Barhaspatya sutras. The Crvka persisted for two thousand years (from about 600 B.C.E.). Most notably, the Crvka advocated scepticism and Hedonistic Egoism that the right action is the one that brings the actor the most net pleasure. The Crvka acknowledged that some pain often accompanied, or was later caused by, sensual pleasure, but that pleasure was worth it.

The Cyrenaics, founded by Aristippus (c. 435-356 B.C.E.), were also sceptics and Hedonistic Egoists. Although the paucity of original texts makes it difficult to confidently state all of the justifications for the Cyrenaics positions, their overall stance is clear enough. The Cyrenaics believed pleasure was the ultimate good and everyone should pursue all immediate pleasures for themselves. They considered bodily pleasures better than mental pleasures, presumably because they were more vivid or trustworthy. The Cyrenaics also recommended pursuing immediate pleasures and avoiding immediate pains with scant or no regard for future consequences. Their reasoning for this is even less clear, but is most plausibly linked to their sceptical views perhaps that what we can be most sure of in this uncertain existence is our current bodily pleasures.

Epicurus (c. 341-271 B.C.E.), founder of Epicureanism, developed a Normative Hedonism in stark contrast to that of Aristippus. The Epicureanism of Epicurus is also quite the opposite to the common usage of Epicureanism; while we might like to go on a luxurious “Epicurean” holiday packed with fine dining and moderately excessive wining, Epicurus would warn us that we are only setting ourselves up for future pain. For Epicurus, happiness was the complete absence of bodily and especially mental pains, including fear of the Gods and desires for anything other than the bare necessities of life. Even with only the limited excesses of ancient Greece on offer, Epicurus advised his followers to avoid towns, and especially marketplaces, in order to limit the resulting desires for unnecessary things. Once we experience unnecessary pleasures, such as those from sex and rich food, we will then suffer from painful and hard to satisfy desires for more and better of the same. No matter how wealthy we might be, Epicurus would argue, our desires will eventually outstrip our means and interfere with our ability to live tranquil, happy lives. Epicureanism is generally egoistic, in that it encourages everyone to pursue happiness for themselves. However, Epicureans would be unlikely to commit any of the selfish acts we might expect from other egoists because Epicureans train themselves to desire only the very basics, which gives them very little reason to do anything to interfere with the affairs of others.

With the exception of a brief period discussed below, Hedonism has been generally unpopular ever since its ancient beginnings. Although criticisms of the ancient forms of hedonism were many and varied, one in particular was heavily cited. In Philebus, Platos Socrates and one of his many foils, Protarchus in this instance, are discussing the role of pleasure in the good life. Socrates asks Protarchus to imagine a life without much pleasure but full of the higher cognitive processes, such as knowledge, forethought and consciousness and to compare it with a life that is the opposite. Socrates describes this opposite life as having perfect pleasure but the mental life of an oyster, pointing out that the subject of such a life would not be able to appreciate any of the pleasure within it. The harrowing thought of living the pleasurable but unthinking life of an oyster causes Protarchus to abandon his hedonistic argument. The oyster example is now easily avoided by clarifying that pleasure is best understood as being a conscious experience, so any sensation that we are not consciously aware of cannot be pleasure.

Normative and Motivational Hedonism were both at their most popular during the heyday of Empiricism in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Indeed, this is the only period during which any kind of hedonism could be considered popular at all. During this period, two Hedonistic Utilitarians, Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and his protg John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), were particularly influential. Their theories are similar in many ways, but are notably distinct on the nature of pleasure.

Bentham argued for several types of hedonism, including those now referred to as Prudential Hedonism, Hedonistic Utilitarianism, and Motivational Hedonism (although his commitment to strong Motivational Hedonism eventually began to wane). Bentham argued that happiness was the ultimate good and that happiness was pleasure and the absence of pain. He acknowledged the egoistic and hedonistic nature of peoples motivation, but argued that the maximization of collective happiness was the correct criterion for moral behavior. Benthams greatest happiness principle states that actions are immoral if they are not the action that appears to maximise the happiness of all the people likely to be affected; only the action that appears to maximise the happiness of all the people likely to be affected is the morally right action.

Bentham devised the greatest happiness principle to justify the legal reforms he also argued for. He understood that he could not conclusively prove that the principle was the correct criterion for morally right action, but also thought that it should be accepted because it was fair and better than existing criteria for evaluating actions and legislation. Bentham thought that his Hedonic Calculus could be applied to situations to see what should, morally speaking, be done in a situation. The Hedonic Calculus is a method of counting the amount of pleasure and pain that would likely be caused by different actions. The Hedonic Calculus required a methodology for measuring pleasure, which in turn required an understanding of the nature of pleasure and specifically what aspects of pleasure were valuable for us.

Benthams Hedonic Calculus identifies several aspects of pleasure that contribute to its value, including certainty, propinquity, extent, intensity, and duration. The Hedonic Calculus also makes use of two future-pleasure-or-pain-related aspects of actions fecundity and purity. Certainty refers to the likelihood that the pleasure or pain will occur. Propinquity refers to how long away (in terms of time) the pleasure or pain is. Fecundity refers to the likelihood of the pleasure or pain leading to more of the same sensation. Purity refers to the likelihood of the pleasure or pain leading to some of the opposite sensation. Extent refers to the number of people the pleasure or pain is likely to affect. Intensity refers to the felt strength of the pleasure or pain. Duration refers to how long the pleasure or pain are felt for. It should be noted that only intensity and duration have intrinsic value for an individual. Certainty, propinquity, fecundity, and purity are all instrumentally valuable for an individual because they affect the likelihood of an individual feeling future pleasure and pain. Extent is not directly valuable for an individuals well-being because it refers to the likelihood of other people experiencing pleasure or pain.

Benthams inclusion of certainty, propinquity, fecundity, and purity in the Hedonic Calculus helps to differentiate his hedonism from Folk Hedonism. Folk Hedonists rarely consider how likely their actions are to lead to future pleasure or pain, focussing instead on the pursuit of immediate pleasure and the avoidance of immediate pain. So while Folk Hedonists would be unlikely to study for an exam, anyone using Benthams Hedonic Calculus would consider the future happiness benefits to themselves (and possibly others) of passing the exam and then promptly begin studying.

Most importantly for Benthams Hedonic Calculus, the pleasure from different sources is always measured against these criteria in the same way, that is to say that no additional value is afforded to pleasures from particularly moral, clean, or culturally-sophisticated sources. For example, Bentham held that pleasure from the parlor game push-pin was just as valuable for us as pleasure from music and poetry. Since Benthams theory of Prudential Hedonism focuses on the quantity of the pleasure, rather than the source-derived quality of it, it is best described as a type of Quantitative Hedonism.

Benthams indifferent stance on the source of pleasures led to others disparaging his hedonism as the philosophy of swine. Even his student, John Stuart Mill, questioned whether we should believe that a satisfied pig leads a better life than a dissatisfied human or that a satisfied fool leads a better life than a dissatisfied Socrates results that Benthams Quantitative Hedonism seems to endorse.

Like Bentham, Mill endorsed the varieties of hedonism now referred to as Prudential Hedonism, Hedonistic Utilitarianism, and Motivational Hedonism. Mill also thought happiness, defined as pleasure and the avoidance of pain, was the highest good. Where Mills hedonism differs from Benthams is in his understanding of the nature of pleasure. Mill argued that pleasures could vary in quality, being either higher or lower pleasures. Mill employed the distinction between higher and lower pleasures in an attempt to avoid the criticism that his hedonism was just another philosophy of swine. Lower pleasures are those associated with the body, which we share with other animals, such as pleasure from quenching thirst or having sex. Higher pleasures are those associated with the mind, which were thought to be unique to humans, such as pleasure from listening to opera, acting virtuously, and philosophising. Mill justified this distinction by arguing that those who have experienced both types of pleasure realise that higher pleasures are much more valuable. He dismissed challenges to this claim by asserting that those who disagreed lacked either the experience of higher pleasures or the capacity for such experiences. For Mill, higher pleasures were not different from lower pleasures by mere degree; they were different in kind. Since Mills theory of Prudential Hedonism focuses on the quality of the pleasure, rather than the amount of it, it is best described as a type of Qualitative Hedonism.

George Edward Moore (1873-1958) was instrumental in bringing hedonisms brief heyday to an end. Moores criticisms of hedonism in general, and Mills hedonism in particular, were frequently cited as good reasons to reject hedonism even decades after his death. Indeed, since G. E. Moore, hedonism has been viewed by most philosophers as being an initially intuitive and interesting family of theories, but also one that is flawed on closer inspection. Moore was a pluralist about value and argued persuasively against the Value Hedonists central claim that all and only pleasure is the bearer of intrinsic value. Moores most damaging objection against Hedonism was his heap of filth example. Moore himself thought the heap of filth example thoroughly refuted what he saw as the only potentially viable form of Prudential Hedonism that conscious pleasure is the only thing that positively contributes to well-being. Moore used the heap of filth example to argue that Prudential Hedonism is false because pleasure is not the only thing of value.

In the heap of filth example, Moore asks the reader to imagine two worlds, one of which is exceedingly beautiful and the other a disgusting heap of filth. Moore then instructs the reader to imagine that no one would ever experience either world and asks if it is better for the beautiful world to exist than the filthy one. As Moore expected, his contemporaries tended to agree that it would be better if the beautiful world existed. Relying on this agreement, Moore infers that the beautiful world is more valuable than the heap of filth and, therefore, that beauty must be valuable. Moore then concluded that all of the potentially viable theories of Prudential Hedonism (those that value only conscious pleasures) must be false because something, namely beauty, is valuable even when no conscious pleasure can be derived from it.

Moores heap of filth example has rarely been used to object to Prudential Hedonism since the 1970s because it is not directly relevant to Prudential Hedonism (it evaluates worlds and not lives). Moores other objections to Prudential Hedonism also went out of favor around the same time. The demise of these arguments was partly due to mounting objections against them, but mainly because arguments more suited to the task of refuting Prudential Hedonism were developed. These arguments are discussed after the contemporary varieties of hedonism are introduced below.

Several contemporary varieties of hedonism have been defended, although usually by just a handful of philosophers or less at any one time. Other varieties of hedonism are also theoretically available but have received little or no discussion. Contemporary varieties of Prudential Hedonism can be grouped based on how they define pleasure and pain, as is done below. In addition to providing different notions of what pleasure and pain are, contemporary varieties of Prudential Hedonism also disagree about what aspect or aspects of pleasure are valuable for well-being (and the opposite for pain).

The most well-known disagreement about what aspects of pleasure are valuable occurs between Quantitative and Qualitative Hedonists. Quantitative Hedonists argue that how valuable pleasure is for well-being depends on only the amount of pleasure, and so they are only concerned with dimensions of pleasure such as duration and intensity. Quantitative Hedonism is often accused of over-valuing animalistic, simple, and debauched pleasures.

Qualitative Hedonists argue that, in addition to the dimensions related to the amount of pleasure, one or more dimensions of quality can have an impact on how pleasure affects well-being. The quality dimensions might be based on how cognitive or bodily the pleasure is (as it was for Mill), the moral status of the source of the pleasure, or some other non-amount-related dimension. Qualitative Hedonism is criticised by some for smuggling values other than pleasure into well-being by misleadingly labelling them as dimensions of pleasure. How these qualities are chosen for inclusion is also criticised for being arbitrary or ad hoc by some because inclusion of these dimensions of pleasure is often in direct response to objections that Quantitative Hedonism cannot easily deal with. That is to say, the inclusion of these dimensions is often accused of being an exercise in plastering over holes, rather than deducing corollary conclusions from existing theoretical premises. Others have argued that any dimensions of quality can be better explained in terms of dimensions of quantity. For example, they might claim that moral pleasures are no higher in quality than immoral pleasures, but that moral pleasures are instrumentally more valuable because they are likely to lead to more moments of pleasure or less moments of pain in the future.

Hedonists also have differing views about how the value of pleasure compares with the value of pain. This is not a practical disagreement about how best to measure pleasure and pain, but rather a theoretical disagreement about comparative value, such as whether pain is worse for us than an equivalent amount of pleasure is good for us. The default position is that one unit of pleasure (sometimes referred to as a Hedon) is equivalent but opposite in value to one unit of pain (sometimes referred to as a Dolor). Several Hedonistic Utilitarians have argued that reduction of pain should be seen as more important than increasing pleasure, sometimes for the Epicurean reason that pain seems worse for us than an equivalent amount of pleasure is good for us. Imagine that a magical genie offered for you to play a game with him. The game consists of you flipping a fair coin. If the coin lands on heads, then you immediately feel a burst of very intense pleasure and if it lands on tails, then you immediately feel a burst of very intense pain. Is it in your best interests to play the game?

Another area of disagreement between some Hedonists is whether pleasure is entirely internal to a person or if it includes external elements. Internalism about pleasure is the thesis that, whatever pleasure is, it is always and only inside a person. Externalism about pleasure, on the other hand, is the thesis that, pleasure is more than just a state of an individual (that is, that a necessary component of pleasure lies outside of the individual). Externalists about pleasure might, for example, describe pleasure as a function that mediates between our minds and the environment, such that every instance of pleasure has one or more integral environmental components. The vast majority of historic and contemporary versions of Prudential Hedonism consider pleasure to be an internal mental state.

Perhaps the least known disagreement about what aspects of pleasure make it valuable is the debate about whether we have to be conscious of pleasure for it to be valuable. The standard position is that pleasure is a conscious mental state, or at least that any pleasure a person is not conscious of does not intrinsically improve their well-being.

The most common definition of pleasure is that it is a sensation, something that we identify through our senses or that we feel. Psychologists claim that we have at least ten senses, including the familiar, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, but also, movement, balance, and several sub-senses of touch, including heat, cold, pressure, and pain. New senses get added to the list when it is understood that some independent physical process underpins their functioning. The most widely-used examples of pleasurable sensations are the pleasures of eating, drinking, listening to music, and having sex. Use of these examples has done little to help Hedonism avoid its debauched reputation.

It is also commonly recognised that our senses are physical processes that usually involve a mental component, such as the tickling feeling when someone blows gently on the back of your neck. If a sensation is something we identify through our sense organs, however, it is not entirely clear how to account for abstract pleasures. This is because abstract pleasures, such as a feeling of accomplishment for a job well done, do not seem to be experienced through any of the senses in the standard lists. Some Hedonists have attempted to resolve this problem by arguing for the existence of an independent pleasure sense and by defining sensation as something that we feel (regardless of whether it has been mediated by sense organs).

Most Hedonists who describe pleasure as a sensation will be Quantitative Hedonists and will argue that the pleasure from the different senses is the same. Qualitative Hedonists, in comparison, can use the framework of the senses to help differentiate between qualities of pleasure. For example, a Qualitative Hedonist might argue that pleasurable sensations from touch and movement are always lower quality than the others.

Hedonists have also defined pleasure as intrinsically valuable experience, that is to say any experiences that we find intrinsically valuable either are, or include, instances of pleasure. According to this definition, the reason that listening to music and eating a fine meal are both intrinsically pleasurable is because those experiences include an element of pleasure (along with the other elements specific to each activity, such as the experience of the texture of the food and the melody of the music). By itself, this definition enables Hedonists to make an argument that is close to perfectly circular. Defining pleasure as intrinsically valuable experience and well-being as all and only experiences that are intrinsically valuable allows a Hedonist to all but stipulate that Prudential Hedonism is the correct theory of well-being. Where defining pleasure as intrinsically valuable experience is not circular is in its stipulation that only experiences matter for well-being. Some well-known objections to this idea are discussed below.

Another problem with defining pleasure as intrinsically valuable experience is that the definition does not tell us very much about what pleasure is or how it can be identified. For example, knowing that pleasure is intrinsically valuable experience would not help someone to work out if a particular experience was intrinsically or just instrumentally valuable. Hedonists have attempted to respond to this problem by explaining how to find out whether an experience is intrinsically valuable.

One method is to ask yourself if you would like the experience to continue for its own sake (rather than because of what it might lead to). Wanting an experience to continue for its own sake reveals that you find it to be intrinsically valuable. While still making a coherent theory of well-being, defining intrinsically valuable experiences as those you want to perpetuate makes the theory much less hedonistic. The fact that what a person wants is the main criterion for something having intrinsic value, makes this kind of theory more in line with preference satisfaction theories of well-being. The central claim of preference satisfaction theories of well-being is that some variant of getting what one wants, or should want, under certain conditions is the only thing that intrinsically improves ones well-being.

Another method of fleshing out the definition of pleasure as intrinsically valuable experience is to describe how intrinsically valuable experiences feel. This method remains a hedonistic one, but seems to fall back into defining pleasure as a sensation.

It has also been argued that what makes an experience intrinsically valuable is that you like or enjoy it for its own sake. Hedonists arguing for this definition of pleasure usually take pains to position their definition in between the realms of sensation and preference satisfaction. They argue that since we can like or enjoy some experiences without concurrently wanting them or feeling any particular sensation, then liking is distinct from both sensation and preference satisfaction. Liking and enjoyment are also difficult terms to define in more detail, but they are certainly easier to recognise than the rather opaque “intrinsically valuable experience.”

Merely defining pleasure as intrinsically valuable experience and intrinsically valuable experiences as those that we like or enjoy still lacks enough detail to be very useful for contemplating well-being. A potential method for making this theory more useful would be to draw on the cognitive sciences to investigate if there is a specific neurological function for liking or enjoying. Cognitive science has not reached the point where anything definitive can be said about this, but a few neuroscientists have experimental evidence that liking and wanting (at least in regards to food) are neurologically distinct processes in rats and have argued that it should be the same for humans. The same scientists have wondered if the same processes govern all of our liking and wanting, but this question remains unresolved.

Most Hedonists who describe pleasure as intrinsically valuable experience believe that pleasure is internal and conscious. Hedonists who define pleasure in this way may be either Quantitative or Qualitative Hedonists, depending on whether they think that quality is a relevant dimension of how intrinsically valuable we find certain experiences.

One of the most recent developments in modern hedonism is the rise of defining pleasure as a pro-attitude a positive psychological stance toward some object. Any account of Prudential Hedonism that defines pleasure as a pro-attitude is referred to as Attitudinal Hedonism because it is a persons attitude that dictates whether anything has intrinsic value. Positive psychological stances include approving of something, thinking it is good, and being pleased about it. The object of the positive psychological stance could be a physical object, such as a painting one is observing, but it could also be a thought, such as “my country is not at war,” or even a sensation. An example of a pro-attitude towards a sensation could be being pleased about the fact that an ice cream tastes so delicious.

Fred Feldman, the leading proponent of Attitudinal Hedonism, argues that the sensation of pleasure only has instrumental value it only brings about value if you also have a positive psychological stance toward that sensation. In addition to his basic Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism, which is a form of Quantitative Hedonism, Feldman has also developed many variants that are types of Qualitative Hedonism. For example, Desert-Adjusted Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism, which reduces the intrinsic value a pro-attitude has for our well-being based on the quality of deservedness (that is, on the extent to which the particular object deserves a pro-attitude or not). For example, Desert-Adjusted Intrinsic Attitudinal Hedonism might stipulate that sensations of pleasure arising from adulterous behavior do not deserve approval, and so assign them no value.

Defining pleasure as a pro-attitude, while maintaining that all sensations of pleasure have no intrinsic value, makes Attitudinal Hedonism less obviously hedonistic as the versions that define pleasure as a sensation. Indeed, defining pleasure as a pro-attitude runs the risk of creating a preference satisfaction account of well-being because being pleased about something without feeling any pleasure seems hard to distinguish from having a preference for that thing.

The most common argument against Prudential Hedonism is that pleasure is not the only thing that intrinsically contributes to well-being. Living in reality, finding meaning in life, producing noteworthy achievements, building and maintaining friendships, achieving perfection in certain domains, and living in accordance with religious or moral laws are just some of the other things thought to intrinsically add value to our lives. When presented with these apparently valuable aspects of life, Hedonists usually attempt to explain their apparent value in terms of pleasure. A Hedonist would argue, for example, that friendship is not valuable in and of itself, rather it is valuable to the extent that it brings us pleasure. Furthermore, to answer why we might help a friend even when it harms us, a Hedonist will argue that the prospect of future pleasure from receiving reciprocal favors from our friend, rather than the value of friendship itself, should motivate us to help in this way.

Those who object to Prudential Hedonism on the grounds that pleasure is not the only source of intrinsic value use two main strategies. In the first strategy, objectors make arguments that some specific value cannot be reduced to pleasure. In the second strategy, objectors cite very long lists of apparently intrinsically valuable aspects of life and then challenge hedonists with the prolonged and arduous task of trying to explain how the value of all of them can be explained solely by reference to pleasure and the avoidance of pain. This second strategy gives good reason to be a pluralist about value because the odds seem to be against any monistic theory of value, such as Prudential Hedonism. The first strategy, however, has the ability to show that Prudential Hedonism is false, rather than being just unlikely to be the best theory of well-being.

The most widely cited argument for pleasure not being the only source of intrinsic value is based on Robert Nozicks experience machine thought-experiment. Nozicks experience machine thought-experiment was designed to show that more than just our experiences matter to us because living in reality also matters to us. This argument has proven to be so convincing that nearly every single book on ethics that discusses hedonism rejects it using only this argument or this one and one other.

In the thought experiment, Nozick asks us to imagine that we have the choice of plugging in to a fantastic machine that flawlessly provides an amazing mix of experiences. Importantly, this machine can provide these experiences in a way that, once plugged in to the machine, no one can tell that their experiences are not real. Disregarding considerations about responsibilities to others and the problems that would arise if everyone plugged in, would you plug in to the machine for life? The vast majority of people reject the choice to live a much more pleasurable life in the machine, mostly because they agree with Nozick that living in reality seems to be important for our well-being. Opinions differ on what exactly about living in reality is so much better for us than the additional pleasure of living in the experience machine, but the most common response is that a life that is not lived in reality is pointless or meaningless.

Since this argument has been used so extensively (from the mid 1970s onwards) to dismiss Prudential Hedonism, several attempts have been made to refute it. Most commonly, Hedonists argue that living an experience machine life would be better than living a real life and that most people are simply mistaken to not want to plug in. Some go further and try to explain why so many people choose not to plug in. Such explanations often point out that the most obvious reasons for not wanting to plug in can be explained in terms of expected pleasure and avoidance of pain. For example, it might be argued that we expect to get pleasure from spending time with our real friends and family, but we do not expect to get as much pleasure from the fake friends or family we might have in the experience machine. These kinds of attempts to refute the experience machine objection do little to persuade non-Hedonists that they have made the wrong choice.

A more promising line of defence for the Prudential Hedonists is to provide evidence that there is a particular psychological bias that affects most peoples choice in the experience machine thought experiment. A reversal of Nozicks thought experiment has been argued to reveal just such a bias. Imagine that a credible source tells you that you are actually in an experience machine right now. You have no idea what reality would be like. Given the choice between having your memory of this conversation wiped and going to reality, what would be best for you to choose? Empirical evidence on this choice shows that most people would choose to stay in the experience machine. Comparing this result with how people respond to Nozicks experience machine thought experiment reveals the following: In Nozicks experience machine thought experiment people tend to choose a real and familiar life over a more pleasurable life and in the reversed experience machine thought experiment people tend to choose a familiar life over a real life. Familiarity seems to matter more than reality, undermining the strength of Nozicks original argument. The bias thought to be responsible for this difference is the status quo bias an irrational preference for the familiar or for things to stay as they are.

Regardless of whether Nozicks experience machine thought experiment is as decisive a refutation of Prudential Hedonism as it is often thought to be, the wider argument (that living in reality is valuable for our well-being) is still a problem for Prudential Hedonists. That our actions have real consequences, that our friends are real, and that our experiences are genuine seem to matter for most of us regardless of considerations of pleasure. Unfortunately, we lack a trusted methodology for discerning if these things should matter to us. Perhaps the best method for identifying intrinsically valuable aspects of lives is to compare lives that are equal in pleasure and all other important ways, except that one aspect of one of the lives is increased. Using this methodology, however, seems certain to lead to an artificial pluralist conclusion about what has value. This is because any increase in a potentially valuable aspect of our lives will be viewed as a free bonus. And, most people will choose the life with the free bonus just in case it has intrinsic value, not necessarily because they think it does have intrinsic value.

The main traditional line of criticism against Prudential Hedonism is that not all pleasure is valuable for well-being, or at least that some pleasures are less valuable than others because of non-amount-related factors. Some versions of this criticism are much easier for Prudential Hedonists to deal with than others depending on where the allegedly disvaluable aspect of the pleasure resides. If the disvaluable aspect is experienced with the pleasure itself, then both Qualitative and Quantitative varieties of Prudential Hedonism have sufficient answers to these problems. If, however, the disvaluable aspect of the pleasure is never experienced, then all types of Prudential Hedonism struggle to explain why the allegedly disvaluable aspect is irrelevant.

Examples of the easier criticisms to deal with are that Prudential Hedonism values, or at least overvalues, perverse and base pleasures. These kinds of criticisms tend to have had more sway in the past and doubtless encouraged Mill to develop his Qualitative Hedonism. In response to the charge that Prudential Hedonism mistakenly values pleasure from sadistic torture, sating hunger, copulating, listening to opera, and philosophising all equally, Qualitative Hedonists can simply deny that it does. Since pleasure from sadistic torture will normally be experienced as containing the quality of sadism (just as the pleasure from listening to good opera is experienced as containing the quality of acoustic excellence), the Qualitative Hedonist can plausibly claim to be aware of the difference in quality and allocate less value to perverse or base pleasures accordingly.

Prudential Hedonists need not relinquish the Quantitative aspect of their theory in order to deal with these criticisms, however. Quantitative Hedonists, can simply point out that moral or cultural values are not necessarily relevant to well-being because the investigation of well-being aims to understand what the good life for the one living it is and what intrinsically makes their life go better for them. A Quantitative Hedonist can simply respond that a sadist that gets sadistic pleasure from torturing someone does improve their own well-being (assuming that the sadist never feels any negative emotions or gets into any other trouble as a result). Similarly, a Quantitative Hedonist can argue that if someone genuinely gets a lot of pleasure from porcine company and wallowing in the mud, but finds opera thoroughly dull, then we have good reason to think that having to live in a pig sty would be better for her well-being than forcing her to listen to opera.

Much more problematic for both Quantitative and Qualitative Hedonists, however, are the more modern versions of the criticism that not all pleasure is valuable. The modern versions of this criticism tend to use examples in which the disvaluable aspect of the pleasure is never experienced by the person whose well-being is being evaluated. The best example of these modern criticisms is a thought experiment devised by Shelly Kagan. Kagans deceived businessman thought experiment is widely thought to show that pleasures of a certain kind, namely false pleasures, are worth much less than true pleasures.

Kagan asks us to imagine the life of a very successful businessman who takes great pleasure in being respected by his colleagues, well-liked by his friends, and loved by his wife and children until the day he died. Then Kagan asks us to compare this life with one of equal length and the same amount of pleasure (experienced as coming from exactly the same sources), except that in each case the businessman is mistaken about how those around him really feel. This second (deceived) businessman experiences just as much pleasure from the respect of his colleagues and the love of his family as the first businessman. The only difference is that the second businessman has many false beliefs. Specifically, the deceived businessmans colleagues actually think he is useless, his wife doesnt really love him, and his children are only nice to him so that he will keep giving them money. Given that the deceived businessman never knew of any of these deceptions and his experiences were never negatively impacted by the deceptions indirectly, which life do you think is better?

Nearly everyone thinks that the deceived businessman has a worse life. This is a problem for Prudential Hedonists because the pleasure is quantitatively equal in each life, so they should be equally good for the one living it. Qualitative Hedonism does not seem to be able to avoid this criticism either because the falsity of the pleasures experienced by the deceived businessman is a dimension of the pleasure that he never becomes aware of. Theoretically, an externalist and qualitative version of Attitudinal Hedonism could include the falsity dimension of an instance of pleasure even if the falsity dimension never impacts the consciousness of the person. However, the resulting definition of pleasure bears little resemblance to what we commonly understand pleasure to be and also seems to be ad hoc in its inclusion of the truth dimension but not others. A dedicated Prudential Hedonist of any variety can always stubbornly stick to the claim that the lives of the two businessmen are of equal value, but that will do little to convince the vast majority to take Prudential Hedonism more seriously.

Another major line of criticism used against Prudential Hedonists is that they have yet to come up with a meaningful definition of pleasure that unifies the seemingly disparate array of pleasures while remaining recognisable as pleasure. Some definitions lack sufficient detail to be informative about what pleasure actually is, or why it is valuable, and those that do offer enough detail to be meaningful are faced with two difficult tasks.

The first obstacle for a useful definition of pleasure for hedonism is to unify all of the diverse pleasures in a reasonable way. Phenomenologically, the pleasure from reading a good book is very different to the pleasure from bungee jumping, and both of these pleasures are very different to the pleasure of having sex. This obstacle is unsurpassable for most versions of Quantitative Hedonism because it makes the value gained from different pleasures impossible to compare. Not being able to compare different types of pleasure results in being unable to say if a life is better than another in most even vaguely realistic cases. Furthermore, not being able to compare lives means that Quantitative Hedonism could not be usefully used to guide behavior since it cannot instruct us on which life to aim for.

Attempts to resolve the problem of unifying the different pleasures while remaining within a framework of Quantitative Hedonism, usually involve pointing out something that is constant in all of the disparate pleasures and defining that particular thing as pleasure. When pleasure is defined as a strict sensation, this strategy fails because introspection reveals that no such sensation exists. Pleasure defined as the experience of liking or as a pro-attitude does much better at unifying all of the diverse pleasures. However, defining pleasure in these ways makes the task of filling in the details of the theory a fine balancing act. Liking or pro-attitudes must be described in such a way that they are not solely a sensation or best described as a preference satisfaction theory. And they must perform this balancing act while still describing a scientifically plausible and conceptually coherent account of pleasure. Most attempts to define pleasure as liking or pro-attitudes seem to disagree with either the folk conception of what pleasure is or any of the plausible scientific conceptions of how pleasure functions.

Most varieties of Qualitative Hedonism do better at dealing with the problem of diverse pleasures because they can evaluate different pleasures according to their distinct qualities. Qualitative Hedonists still need a coherent method for comparing the different pleasures with each other in order to be more than just an abstract theory of well-being, however. And, it is difficult to construct such a methodology in a way that avoids counter examples, while still describing a scientifically plausible and conceptually coherent account of pleasure.

The second obstacle is creating a definition of pleasure that retains at least some of the core properties of the common understanding of the term pleasure. As mentioned, many of the potential adjustments to the main definitions of pleasure are useful for avoiding one or more of the many objections against Prudential Hedonism. The problem with this strategy is that the more adjustments that are made, the more apparent it becomes that the definition of pleasure is not recognisable as the pleasure that gave Hedonism its distinctive intuitive plausibility in the first place. When an instance of pleasure is defined simply as when someone feels good, its intrinsic value for well-being is intuitively obvious. However, when the definition of pleasure is stretched, so as to more effectively argue that all valuable experiences are pleasurable, it becomes much less recognisable as the concept of pleasure we use in day-to-day life and its intrinsic value becomes much less intuitive.

The future of hedonism seems bleak. The considerable number and strength of the arguments against Prudential Hedonisms central principle (that pleasure and only pleasure intrinsically contributes positively to well-being and the opposite for pain) seem insurmountable. Hedonists have been creative in their definitions of pleasure so as to avoid these objections, but more often than not find themselves defending a theory that is not particularly hedonistic, realistic or both.

Perhaps the only hope that Hedonists of all types can have for the future is that advances in cognitive science will lead to a better understanding of how pleasure works in the brain and how biases affect our judgements about thought experiments. If our improved understanding in these areas confirms a particular theory about what pleasure is and also provides reasons to doubt some of the widespread judgements about the thought experiments that make the vast majority of philosophers reject hedonism, then hedonism might experience at least a partial revival. The good news for Hedonists is that at least some emerging theories and results from cognitive science do appear to support some aspects of hedonism.

Dan Weijers Email: danweijers@gmail.com Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand

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Hedonism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on N.D.Ill.: Withheld video of CPD shooting revealed during …
Jan 292016
 

ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 (2015)

by John Wesley Hall Criminal Defense Lawyer and Search and seizure law consultant Little Rock, Arkansas Contact / The Book http://www.johnwesleyhall.com

2003-16, online since Feb. 24, 2003 real non-robot URL hits since 2010; approx. 18k posts since 2003

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fourth Amendment cases, citations, and links

Latest Slip Opinions: U.S. Supreme Court (Home) Federal Appellate Courts Opinions First Circuit Second Circuit Third Circuit Fourth Circuit Fifth Circuit Sixth Circuit Seventh Circuit Eighth Circuit Ninth Circuit Tenth Circuit Eleventh Circuit D.C. Circuit Federal Circuit Foreign Intell.Surv.Ct. FDsys, many district courts, other federal courts, other Military Courts: C.A.A.F., Army, AF, N-M, CG State courts (and some USDC opinions)

Google Scholar Advanced Google Scholar Google search tips LexisWeb LII State Appellate Courts LexisONE free caselaw Findlaw Free Opinions To search Search and Seizure on Lexis.com $

Research Links: Supreme Court: SCOTUSBlog S. Ct. Docket Solicitor General’s site SCOTUSreport Briefs online (but no amicus briefs) Curiae (Yale Law) Oyez Project (NWU) “On the Docket”Medill S.Ct. Monitor: Law.com S.Ct. Com’t’ry: Law.com

General (many free): LexisWeb Google Scholar | Google LexisOne Legal Website Directory Crimelynx Lexis.com $ Lexis.com (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $ Findlaw.com Findlaw.com (4th Amd) Westlaw.com $ F.R.Crim.P. 41 http://www.fd.org FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf) DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download) DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf) Stringrays (ACLU No. Cal.) (pdf)

Congressional Research Service: –Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) –Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) –Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) –Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) –Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012) ACLU on privacy Privacy Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation NACDLs Domestic Drone Information Center Electronic Privacy Information Center Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.) Section 1983 Blog

“If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn’t, and they don’t.” Me

I still learn something new every day. Pete Townshend, The Who 50th Anniversary Tour, “The Who Live at Hyde Park” (Showtime 2015)

“I can’t talk about my singing. I’m inside it. How can you describe something you’re inside of?” Janis Joplin

“Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government.” Shemaya, in the Thalmud

“A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one’s attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced.” Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev’d Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).

“The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.” Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).

Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment. Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).

“There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today.” Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).

“The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property.” Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)

“It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment.” United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)

“The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has notto put it mildlyrun smooth.” Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).

“A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.” Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)

“For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. … But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.” Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)

Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Governments purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)

Libertythe freedom from unwarranted intrusion by governmentis as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark. United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)

“You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need.” Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

“In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for meand by that time there was nobody left to speak up.” Martin Niemller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]

You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men! “The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime.” Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)

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N.D.Ill.: Withheld video of CPD shooting revealed during …

Tor Browser Latest (3.6.1) – Home

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Tor Browser Latest (3.6.1) – Home
Jan 282016
 

Tor Browser

Inception

Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion routing project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. It was originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, for the primary purpose of protecting government communications. Today, it is used every day for a wide variety of purposes by normal people, the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others. Overview

Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

Individuals use Tor to keep websites from tracking them and their family members, or to connect to news sites, instant messaging services, or the like when these are blocked by their local Internet providers. Tor’s hidden services let users publish web sites and other services without needing to reveal the location of the site. Individuals also use Tor for socially sensitive communication: chat rooms and web forums for rape and abuse survivors, or people with illnesses.

Journalists use Tor to communicate more safely with whistleblowers and dissidents. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use Tor to allow their workers to connect to their home website while they’re in a foreign country, without notifying everybody nearby that they’re working with that organization.

Groups such as Indymedia recommend Tor for safeguarding their members’ online privacy and security. Activist groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recommend Tor as a mechanism for maintaining civil liberties online. Corporations use Tor as a safe way to conduct competitive analysis, and to protect sensitive procurement patterns from eavesdroppers. They also use it to replace traditional VPNs, which reveal the exact amount and timing of communication. Which locations have employees working late? Which locations have employees consulting job-hunting websites? Which research divisions are communicating with the company’s patent lawyers?

A branch of the U.S. Navy uses Tor for open source intelligence gathering, and one of its teams used Tor while deployed in the Middle East recently. Law enforcement uses Tor for visiting or surveilling web sites without leaving government IP addresses in their web logs, and for security during sting operations.

The variety of people who use Tor is actually part of what makes it so secure. Tor hides you among the other users on the network, so the more populous and diverse the user base for Tor is, the more your anonymity will be protected. Why we need Tor

Using Tor protects you against a common form of Internet surveillance known as “traffic analysis.” Traffic analysis can be used to infer who is talking to whom over a public network. Knowing the source and destination of your Internet traffic allows others to track your behavior and interests. This can impact your checkbook if, for example, an e-commerce site uses price discrimination based on your country or institution of origin. It can even threaten your job and physical safety by revealing who and where you are. For example, if you’re travelling abroad and you connect to your employer’s computers to check or send mail, you can inadvertently reveal your national origin and professional affiliation to anyone observing the network, even if the connection is encrypted.

How does traffic analysis work? Internet data packets have two parts: a data payload and a header used for routing. The data payload is whatever is being sent, whether that’s an email message, a web page, or an audio file. Even if you encrypt the data payload of your communications, traffic analysis still reveals a great deal about what you’re doing and, possibly, what you’re saying. That’s because it focuses on the header, which discloses source, destination, size, timing, and so on.

A basic problem for the privacy minded is that the recipient of your communications can see that you sent it by looking at headers. So can authorized intermediaries like Internet service providers, and sometimes unauthorized intermediaries as well. A very simple form of traffic analysis might involve sitting somewhere between sender and recipient on the network, looking at headers.

But there are also more powerful kinds of traffic analysis. Some attackers spy on multiple parts of the Internet and use sophisticated statistical techniques to track the communications patterns of many different organizations and individuals. Encryption does not help against these attackers, since it only hides the content of Internet traffic, not the headers. The solution: a distributed, anonymous network How Tor works

Tor helps to reduce the risks of both simple and sophisticated traffic analysis by distributing your transactions over several places on the Internet, so no single point can link you to your destination. The idea is similar to using a twisty, hard-to-follow route in order to throw off somebody who is tailing you and then periodically erasing your footprints. Instead of taking a direct route from source to destination, data packets on the Tor network take a random pathway through several relays that cover your tracks so no observer at any single point can tell where the data came from or where it’s going.

To create a private network pathway with Tor, the user’s software or client incrementally builds a circuit of encrypted connections through relays on the network. The circuit is extended one hop at a time, and each relay along the way knows only which relay gave it data and which relay it is giving data to. No individual relay ever knows the complete path that a data packet has taken. The client negotiates a separate set of encryption keys for each hop along the circuit to ensure that each hop can’t trace these connections as they pass through.

Tor circuit step two

Once a circuit has been established, many kinds of data can be exchanged and several different sorts of software applications can be deployed over the Tor network. Because each relay sees no more than one hop in the circuit, neither an eavesdropper nor a compromised relay can use traffic analysis to link the connection’s source and destination. Tor only works for TCP streams and can be used by any application with SOCKS support.

For efficiency, the Tor software uses the same circuit for connections that happen within the same ten minutes or so. Later requests are given a new circuit, to keep people from linking your earlier actions to the new ones.

Tor circuit step three Hidden services

Tor also makes it possible for users to hide their locations while offering various kinds of services, such as web publishing or an instant messaging server. Using Tor “rendezvous points,” other Tor users can connect to these hidden services, each without knowing the other’s network identity. This hidden service functionality could allow Tor users to set up a website where people publish material without worrying about censorship. Nobody would be able to determine who was offering the site, and nobody who offered the site would know who was posting to it. Learn more about configuring hidden services and how the hidden service protocol works. Staying anonymous

Tor can’t solve all anonymity problems. It focuses only on protecting the transport of data. You need to use protocol-specific support software if you don’t want the sites you visit to see your identifying information. For example, you can use the Tor Browser Bundle while browsing the web to withhold some information about your computer’s configuration.

Also, to protect your anonymity, be smart. Don’t provide your name or other revealing information in web forms. Be aware that, like all anonymizing networks that are fast enough for web browsing, Tor does not provide protection against end-to-end timing attacks: If your attacker can watch the traffic coming out of your computer, and also the traffic arriving at your chosen destination, he can use statistical analysis to discover that they are part of the same circuit. The future of Tor

Providing a usable anonymizing network on the Internet today is an ongoing challenge. We want software that meets users’ needs. We also want to keep the network up and running in a way that handles as many users as possible. Security and usability don’t have to be at odds: As Tor’s usability increases, it will attract more users, which will increase the possible sources and destinations of each communication, thus increasing security for everyone. We’re making progress, but we need your help. Please consider running a relay or volunteering as a developer.

Ongoing trends in law, policy, and technology threaten anonymity as never before, undermining our ability to speak and read freely online. These trends also undermine national security and critical infrastructure by making communication among individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments more vulnerable to analysis. Each new user and relay provides additional diversity, enhancing Tor’s ability to put control over your security and privacy back into your hands. Tor: Overview Topics

Inception Overview Why we need Tor The Solution Hidden services Staying anonymous The future of Tor

Inception

Tor was originally designed, implemented, and deployed as a third-generation onion routing project of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. It was originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, for the primary purpose of protecting government communications. Today, it is used every day for a wide variety of purposes by normal people, the military, journalists, law enforcement officers, activists, and many others. Overview

Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

Individuals use Tor to keep websites from tracking them and their family members, or to connect to news sites, instant messaging services, or the like when these are blocked by their local Internet providers. Tor’s hidden services let users publish web sites and other services without needing to reveal the location of the site. Individuals also use Tor for socially sensitive communication: chat rooms and web forums for rape and abuse survivors, or people with illnesses.

Journalists use Tor to communicate more safely with whistleblowers and dissidents. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use Tor to allow their workers to connect to their home website while they’re in a foreign country, without notifying everybody nearby that they’re working with that organization.

Groups such as Indymedia recommend Tor for safeguarding their members’ online privacy and security. Activist groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recommend Tor as a mechanism for maintaining civil liberties online. Corporations use Tor as a safe way to conduct competitive analysis, and to protect sensitive procurement patterns from eavesdroppers. They also use it to replace traditional VPNs, which reveal the exact amount and timing of communication. Which locations have employees working late? Which locations have employees consulting job-hunting websites? Which research divisions are communicating with the company’s patent lawyers?

A branch of the U.S. Navy uses Tor for open source intelligence gathering, and one of its teams used Tor while deployed in the Middle East recently. Law enforcement uses Tor for visiting or surveilling web sites without leaving government IP addresses in their web logs, and for security during sting operations.

The variety of people who use Tor is actually part of what makes it so secure. Tor hides you among the other users on the network, so the more populous and diverse the user base for Tor is, the more your anonymity will be protected. Why we need Tor

Using Tor protects you against a common form of Internet surveillance known as “traffic analysis.” Traffic analysis can be used to infer who is talking to whom over a public network. Knowing the source and destination of your Internet traffic allows others to track your behavior and interests. This can impact your checkbook if, for example, an e-commerce site uses price discrimination based on your country or institution of origin. It can even threaten your job and physical safety by revealing who and where you are. For example, if you’re travelling abroad and you connect to your employer’s computers to check or send mail, you can inadvertently reveal your national origin and professional affiliation to anyone observing the network, even if the connection is encrypted.

How does traffic analysis work? Internet data packets have two parts: a data payload and a header used for routing. The data payload is whatever is being sent, whether that’s an email message, a web page, or an audio file. Even if you encrypt the data payload of your communications, traffic analysis still reveals a great deal about what you’re doing and, possibly, what you’re saying. That’s because it focuses on the header, which discloses source, destination, size, timing, and so on.

A basic problem for the privacy minded is that the recipient of your communications can see that you sent it by looking at headers. So can authorized intermediaries like Internet service providers, and sometimes unauthorized intermediaries as well. A very simple form of traffic analysis might involve sitting somewhere between sender and recipient on the network, looking at headers.

But there are also more powerful kinds of traffic analysis. Some attackers spy on multiple parts of the Internet and use sophisticated statistical techniques to track the communications patterns of many different organizations and individuals. Encryption does not help against these attackers, since it only hides the content of Internet traffic, not the headers. The solution: a distributed, anonymous network How Tor works

Tor helps to reduce the risks of both simple and sophisticated traffic analysis by distributing your transactions over several places on the Internet, so no single point can link you to your destination. The idea is similar to using a twisty, hard-to-follow route in order to throw off somebody who is tailing you and then periodically erasing your footprints. Instead of taking a direct route from source to destination, data packets on the Tor network take a random pathway through several relays that cover your tracks so no observer at any single point can tell where the data came from or where it’s going.

To create a private network pathway with Tor, the user’s software or client incrementally builds a circuit of encrypted connections through relays on the network. The circuit is extended one hop at a time, and each relay along the way knows only which relay gave it data and which relay it is giving data to. No individual relay ever knows the complete path that a data packet has taken. The client negotiates a separate set of encryption keys for each hop along the circuit to ensure that each hop can’t trace these connections as they pass through.

Tor circuit step two

Once a circuit has been established, many kinds of data can be exchanged and several different sorts of software applications can be deployed over the Tor network. Because each relay sees no more than one hop in the circuit, neither an eavesdropper nor a compromised relay can use traffic analysis to link the connection’s source and destination. Tor only works for TCP streams and can be used by any application with SOCKS support.

For efficiency, the Tor software uses the same circuit for connections that happen within the same ten minutes or so. Later requests are given a new circuit, to keep people from linking your earlier actions to the new ones.

Tor circuit step three Hidden services

Tor also makes it possible for users to hide their locations while offering various kinds of services, such as web publishing or an instant messaging server. Using Tor “rendezvous points,” other Tor users can connect to these hidden services, each without knowing the other’s network identity. This hidden service functionality could allow Tor users to set up a website where people publish material without worrying about censorship. Nobody would be able to determine who was offering the site, and nobody who offered the site would know who was posting to it. Learn more about configuring hidden services and how the hidden service protocol works. Staying anonymous

Tor can’t solve all anonymity problems. It focuses only on protecting the transport of data. You need to use protocol-specific support software if you don’t want the sites you visit to see your identifying information. For example, you can use the Tor Browser Bundle while browsing the web to withhold some information about your computer’s configuration.

Also, to protect your anonymity, be smart. Don’t provide your name or other revealing information in web forms. Be aware that, like all anonymizing networks that are fast enough for web browsing, Tor does not provide protection against end-to-end timing attacks: If your attacker can watch the traffic coming out of your computer, and also the traffic arriving at your chosen destination, he can use statistical analysis to discover that they are part of the same circuit. The future of Tor

Providing a usable anonymizing network on the Internet today is an ongoing challenge. We want software that meets users’ needs. We also want to keep the network up and running in a way that handles as many users as possible. Security and usability don’t have to be at odds: As Tor’s usability increases, it will attract more users, which will increase the possible sources and destinations of each communication, thus increasing security for everyone. We’re making progress, but we need your help. Please consider running a relay or volunteering as a developer.

Ongoing trends in law, policy, and technology threaten anonymity as never before, undermining our ability to speak and read freely online. These trends also undermine national security and critical infrastructure by making communication among individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments more vulnerable to analysis. Each new user and relay provides additional diversity, enhancing Tor’s ability to put control over your security and privacy back into your hands.

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NSA warrantless surveillance (200107) – Wikipedia, the free …

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Jan 252016
 

The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy (“warrantless wiretapping”) concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of allegedly foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as part of the touted war on terror. Under this program, referred to by the Bush administration as the terrorist surveillance program,[1] part of the broader President’s Surveillance Program, the NSA was authorized by executive order to monitor, without search warrants, the phone calls, Internet activity (Web, e-mail, etc.), text messaging, and other communication involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the U.S., even if the other end of the communication lies within the U.S. However, it has been discovered that all U.S. communications have been digitally cloned by government agencies, in apparent violation of unreasonable search and seizure.

Critics claim that the program was in an effort to attempt to silence critics of the Bush Administration and its handling of several controversial issues during its tenure. Under public pressure, the Bush administration allegedly ceased the warrantless wiretapping program in January 2007 and returned review of surveillance to the FISA court.[2] Subsequently, in 2008 Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which relaxed some of the original FISA court requirements.

During the Obama Administration, the NSA has allegedly continued operating under the new FISA guidelines despite campaign promises to end warrantless wiretapping.[3] However, in April 2009 officials at the United States Department of Justice acknowledged that the NSA had engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications in excess of the FISA court’s authority, but claimed that the acts were unintentional and had since been rectified.[4]

All wiretapping of American citizens by the National Security Agency requires a warrant from a three-judge court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. After the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Patriot Act, which granted the President broad powers to fight a war against terrorism. The George W. Bush administration used these powers to bypass the FISA court and directed the NSA to spy directly on al-Qaeda in a new NSA electronic surveillance program. Reports at the time indicate that an “apparently accidental” “glitch” resulted in the interception of communications that were purely domestic in nature.[5] This action was challenged by a number of groups, including Congress, as unconstitutional.

The exact scope of the program remains secret, but the NSA was provided total, unsupervised access to all fiber-optic communications going between some of the nation’s largest telecommunication companies’ major interconnected locations, including phone conversations, email, web browsing, and corporate private network traffic.[6] Critics said that such “domestic” intercepts required FISC authorization under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.[7] The Bush administration maintained that the authorized intercepts were not domestic but rather foreign intelligence integral to the conduct of war and that the warrant requirements of FISA were implicitly superseded by the subsequent passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF).[8] FISA makes it illegal to intentionally engage in electronic surveillance under appearance of an official act or to disclose or use information obtained by electronic surveillance under appearance of an official act knowing that it was not authorized by statute; this is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 or up to five years in prison, or both.[9] In addition, the Wiretap Act prohibits any person from illegally intercepting, disclosing, using or divulging phone calls or electronic communications; this is punishable with a fine or up to five years in prison, or both.[10]

After an article about the program, (which had been code-named Stellar Wind), was published in The New York Times on December 16, 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales confirmed its existence.[11][12][13]The Times had posted the exclusive story on their website the night before, after learning that the Bush administration was considering seeking a Pentagon-Papers-style court injunction to block its publication.[14]Bill Keller, the newspaper’s former executive editor, had withheld the story from publication since before the 2004 Presidential Election, and the story that was ultimately published was essentially the same as reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau had submitted in 2004. The delay drew criticism from some in the press, arguing that an earlier publication could have changed the election’s outcome.[15] In a December 2008 interview with Newsweek, former Justice Department employee Thomas Tamm revealed himself to be the initial whistle-blower to The Times.[16] The FBI began investigating leaks about the program in 2005, with 25 agents and 5 prosecutors on the case.[17]

Gonzales said the program authorized warrantless intercepts where the government had “a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of al Qaeda, affiliated with al Qaeda, or a member of an organization affiliated with al Qaeda, or working in support of al Qaeda” and that one party to the conversation was “outside of the United States.”[18] The revelation raised immediate concern among elected officials, civil right activists, legal scholars and the public at large about the legality and constitutionality of the program and the potential for abuse. Since then, the controversy has expanded to include the press’ role in exposing a classified program, the role and responsibility of the US Congress in its executive oversight function and the scope and extent of presidential powers under Article II of the Constitution.[19]

In mid-August 2007, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments in two lawsuits challenging the surveillance program. The appeals were the first to reach the court after dozens of civil suits against the government and telecommunications companies over NSA surveillance were consolidated last year before the chief judge of the Northern District of California, Vaughn R. Walker. One of the cases is a class-action lawsuit against AT&T, focusing on allegations that the company provided the NSA with its customers’ phone and Internet communications for a vast data-mining operation. Plaintiffs in the second case are the al-Haramain Foundation Islamic charity and two of its lawyers.[20][21]

On November 16, 2007, the three judgesM. Margaret McKeown, Michael Daly Hawkins, and Harry Pregersonissued a 27-page ruling that the charity, the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, could not introduce a key piece of evidence in its case because it fell under the government’s claim of state secrets, although the judges said that “In light of extensive government disclosures, the government is hard-pressed to sustain its claim that the very subject matter of the litigation is a state secret.”[22][23]

In an August 14, 2007, question-and-answer session with the El Paso Times which was published on August 22, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell confirmed for the first time that the private sector helped the warrantless surveillance program. McConnell argued that the companies deserved immunity for their help: “Now if you play out the suits at the value they’re claimed, it would bankrupt these companies”.[24] Plaintiffs in the AT&T suit subsequently filed a motion with the court to have McConnell’s acknowledgement admitted as evidence in their case.[25]

The program may face an additional legal challenge in the appeal of two Albany, New York, men convicted of criminal charges in an FBI anti-terror sting operation. Their lawyers say they have evidence the men were the subjects of NSA electronic surveillance, which was used to obtain their convictions but not made public at trial or made available in response to discovery requests by defense counsel at that time.[26]

In an unusual related legal development, on October 13, 2007, The Washington Post reported that Joseph P. Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest Communications, is appealing an April 2007 conviction on 19 counts of insider trading by alleging that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal. According to court documents unsealed in Denver in early October as part of Nacchio’s appeal, the NSA approached Qwest about participating in a warrantless surveillance program more than six months before the Sep 11, 2001, attacks which have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its efforts. Nacchio is using the allegation to try to show why his stock sale should not have been considered improper.[27] According to a lawsuit filed against other telecommunications companies for violating customer privacy, AT&T began preparing facilities for the NSA to monitor “phone call information and Internet traffic” seven months before 9/11.[28]

On August 17, 2007, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said it would consider a request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union which asked the intelligence court to make public its recent, classified rulings on the scope of the government’s wiretapping powers. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, presiding judge of the FISC, signed an order calling the ACLU’s motion “an unprecedented request that warrants further briefing.”[29] The FISC ordered the government to respond on the issue by August 31, saying that anything involving classified material could be filed under court seal.[30][31] On the August 31 deadline, the National Security Division of the Justice Department filed a response in opposition to the ACLU’s motion with the court.[32]

In previous developments, the case ACLU v. NSA was dismissed on July 6, 2007 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.[33] The court did not rule on the spying program’s legality. Instead, its 65-page opinion declared that the American Civil Liberties Union and the others who brought the case including academics, lawyers and journalists did not have the legal standing to sue because they could not demonstrate that they had been direct targets of the clandestine surveillance.[34] Detroit District Court judge Anna Diggs Taylor had originally ruled on August 17, 2006 that the program is illegal under FISA as well as unconstitutional under the First and Fourth amendments of the United States Constitution.[35][36][37]Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, discovered that at the time of the ruling Taylor “serves as a secretary and trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case.”[38] On February 19, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, turned down an appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union, letting stand the earlier decision dismissing the case.[39]

On September 28, 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (H.R. 5825).[40] That bill now has been passed to the U.S. Senate, where three competing, mutually exclusive, billsthe Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455) (the DeWine bill), the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455) (the Specter bill), and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Improvement and Enhancement Act of 2006 (S.3001) (the Specter-Feinstein bill) were themselves referred for debate to the full Senate by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 13, 2006.[41] Each of these bills would in some form broaden the statutory authorization for electronic surveillance, while still subjecting it to some restrictions. The Specter-Feinstein bill would extend the peacetime period for obtaining retroactive warrants to seven days and implement other changes to facilitate eavesdropping while maintaining FISA court oversight. The DeWine bill, the Specter bill, and the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (passed by the House) would all authorize some limited forms or periods of warrantless electronic surveillance subject to additional programmatic oversight by either the FISC (Specter bill) or Congress (DeWine and Wilson bills).

On January 17, 2007, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales informed U.S. Senate leaders by letter that the program would not be reauthorized by the President.[2] “Any electronic surveillance that was occurring as part of the Terrorist Surveillance Program will now be conducted subject to the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” according to his letter.[42]

On September 18, 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an Internet-privacy advocacy group, filed a new lawsuit against the NSA, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and other government agencies and individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless surveillance. They sued on behalf of AT&T customers to seek redress for what the EFF alleges to be an illegal, unconstitutional, and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records. An earlier, ongoing suit by the EFF may be bogged down by the recent changes to FISA provisions, but these are not expected to impact this new case.[43][44]

On January 23, 2009, the administration of President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor when it urged U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to set aside a ruling in Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation et al. v. Obama, et al.[45] The Obama administration also sided with the former administration in its legal defense of July 2008 legislation that immunized the nation’s telecommunications companies from lawsuits accusing them of complicity in the eavesdropping program, according to testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder.[46]

On March 31, 2010, Judge Vaughn R. Walker, chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, ruled that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain. Declaring that the plaintiffs had been “subjected to unlawful surveillance”, the judge said the government was liable to pay them damages.[47]

In 2012, the Ninth Circuit vacated the judgment against the United States and affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the claim against Mueller.[48]

The Trailblazer Project, an NSA IT project that began in 2000, has also been linked to warrantless surveillance. It was chosen over ThinThread, which had included some privacy protections. Three ex-NSA staffers, William Binney, J. Kirke Wiebe, and Ed Loomis, all of whom had quit NSA over concerns about the legality of the agency’s activities, teamed with Diane Roark, a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee, to ask the Inspector General to investigate. A major source for the IG report was Thomas Andrews Drake, an ex-Air Force senior NSA official with an expertise in computers. Siobhan Gorman of The Baltimore Sun published a series of articles about Trailblazer in 20062007.

The FBI agents investigating the 2005 The New York Times story eventually made their way to The Baltimore Sun story, and then to Binney, Wiebe, Loomis, Roark, and Drake. In 2007 armed FBI agents raided the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe. Binney claimed they pointed guns at his head. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union. None were charged with crimes except for Drake. In 2010 he was indicted under the Espionage Act of 1917, as part of Obama’s unprecedented crackdown on leakers.[49][50] The charges against him were dropped in 2011 and he pled to a single misdemeanor.

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) regulates U.S. government agencies’ carrying out of physical searches, and electronic surveillance, wherein a significant purpose is the gathering of foreign intelligence information. “Foreign intelligence information” is defined in 50 U.S.C.1801 as information necessary to protect the U.S. or its allies against actual or potential attack from a foreign power, sabotage or international terrorism. FISA defines a “foreign power” as a foreign government or any faction(s) of a foreign government not substantially composed of US persons, or any entity directed or controlled by a foreign government. FISA provides for both criminal and civil liability for intentional electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute.

FISA provides two documents for the authorization of surveillance. First, FISA allows the Justice Department to obtain warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) before or up to 72 hours after the beginning of the surveillance. FISA authorizes a FISC judge to issue a warrant for the electronic cameras if “there is probable cause to believe that the target of the electronic surveillance is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.” 50 U.S.C. 1805(a)(3). Second, FISA permits the President or his delegate to authorize warrantless surveillance for the collection of foreign intelligence if “there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party”. 50 U.S.C. 1802(a)(1).[51]

Soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks U.S. President George W. Bush issued an executive order that authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct surveillance of certain telephone calls without obtaining a warrant from the FISC as stipulated by FISA (see 50 U.S.C.1802 50 U.S.C.1809 ). The complete details of the executive order are not known, but according to statements by the administration,[52] the authorization covers telephone calls originating overseas from or to a person suspected of having links to terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda or its affiliates even when the other party to the call is within the US. The legality of surveillance involving US persons and extent of this authorization is at the core of this controversy which has steadily grown to include:

About a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) which authorized the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

The administration has argued that the language used in the AUMF implicitly authorized the President to exercise those powers “incident to the waging of war”, including the collection of enemy intelligence, FISA provisions notwithstanding.[8]

On January 20, 2006, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee along with lone co-sponsor Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduced S. Res. 350, a resolution “expressing the sense of the Senate that Senate Joint Resolution 23 (107th Congress), as adopted by the Senate on September 14, 2001, and subsequently enacted as the Authorization for Use of Military Force does not authorize warrantless domestic surveillance of United States citizens.”[55][56] This non-binding resolution died in the Senate without being brought up for debate or being voted upon.[57]

Because of its highly classified status, little is publicly known about the actual implementation of the NSA domestic electronic surveillance program. Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit including limited technical details known to him personally in support of a class-action lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in federal district court in San Francisco in January 2006 on behalf of AT&T customers who alleged that they had been damaged by the telecommunications corporation’s cooperation with the NSA. The lawsuit is called Hepting v. AT&T.[60][61]

A January 16, 2004 statement by Mr. Klein includes additional technical details regarding the secret 2003 construction of an NSA-operated monitoring facility in Room 641A of 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco, the site of a large SBC phone building, three floors of which are occupied by AT&T.[62][63]

According to Klein’s affidavit, the NSA-equipped room uses equipment built by Narus Corporation to intercept and analyze communications traffic, as well as perform data-mining functions.[64]

In an article appearing in the January/February 2008 issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers journal of Security and Privacy, noted technology experts from academia and the computing industry analyzed potential security risks posed by the NSA program, based on information contained in Klein’s affidavits as well as those of expert witness J. Scott Marcus, a designer of large-scale IP-based data networks, former CTO at GTE Internetworking and at Genuity, and former senior advisor for Internet Technology at the US Federal Communications Commission.[65] They concluded that the likely architecture of the system created serious security risks, including the danger that such a surveillance system could be exploited by unauthorized users, criminally misused by trusted insiders, or abused by government agents.[66]

Journalist Barton Gellman reported in the Washington Post that David Addington who was at that time legal counsel to former Vice President Dick Cheney was the author of the controlling legal and technical documents for the NSA surveillance program, typing the documents on a TEMPEST-shielded computer across from his desk in room 268 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and storing them in a vault in his office.[67][68][69]

The NSA surveillance controversy involves legal issues that fall into two broad disciplines: statutory interpretation and Constitutional law. Statutory interpretation is the process of interpreting and applying legislation to the facts of a given case. Constitutional law is the body of law that governs the interpretation of the United States Constitution and covers areas of law such as the relationship between the federal government and state governments, the rights of individuals, and other fundamental aspects of the application of government authority in the United States.[70]

However, there are analogies between the NSA Spying Scandal (20012007) and Hewlett-Packard spying scandal (2006)[71] that may ease to predict the court outcomes. HP, in order to find the leak source of its board strategic minutes revealed to press, employed several contractors to investigate the leak issue but without engaging any external legal firm and supervisory stakeholder. Contractors, under supervision of the HP’s internal investigation team, confidentially used false pretense and social security numbers a spying technique namely Pretexting for obtaining phone records of suspicious board members and several journalists. Later on, the HP’s surveillance extended beyond the board of directors leaking issue and became a conspiracy for interest of the probe initiators; through which it was claimed that the informational privacy rights of even innocent employees and directors of the board, who had nothing to do with the board leaks, were violated.

In October 2006, HP’s chairwoman Patricia Dunn and HP’s former chief ethics officer Kevin Hunsaker and several private investigators were charged for criminal cases under California Penal Code such as

All of these charges were dismissed.[72]

18 U.S.C.2511(2)(f) provides in relevant part that “the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance, as defined in 50 U.S.C.1801(f) … and the intercept of domestic [communications] may be conducted.” The interpretation of this clause is central to the controversy because both sides agree that the NSA program operates outside of the procedural framework provided by FISA. The interpretive conflict arises because other provisions of FISA, including the criminal sanctions subpart 50 U.S.C.1809 include an “unless authorized by statute” provision, raising the issue of statutory ambiguity. The administration’s position is that the AUMF is an authorizing statute which satisfies the FISA criteria.

The U.S. Supreme Court faced a similar issue in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld where the government claimed that the AUMF authorized the President to detain U.S. citizens designated as an enemy combatant despite its lack of specific language to that intent and notwithstanding the provisions of 18 U.S.C.4001(a) which requires that the United States government cannot detain an American citizen except by an act of Congress. In that case, the Court ruled:

[B]ecause we conclude that the Government’s second assertion [“that 4001(a) is satisfied, because Hamdi is being detained “pursuant to an Act of Congress” [the AUMF] is correct, we do not address the first. In other words, for the reasons that follow, we conclude that the AUMF is explicit congressional authorization for the detention of individuals … and that the AUMF satisfied 4001(a)’s requirement that a detention be “pursuant to an Act of Congress”

In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld however, the court rejected the government’s argument that the AUMF implicitly authorized the President to establish military commissions in violation of the UCMJ. The opinion of the Court held:

Neither of these congressional Acts, [AUMF or ATC] however, expands the President’s authority to convene military commissions. First, while we assume that the AUMF activated the President’s war powers, see Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 507 (2004)) (plurality opinion), and that those powers include the authority to convene military commissions in appropriate circumstances, see id., at 518; Quirin, 317 U. S., at 2829; see also Yamashita, 327 U. S., at 11, there is nothing in the text or legislative history of the AUMF even hinting that Congress intended to expand or alter the authorization set forth in Article 21 of the UCMJ. Cf. Yerger, 8 Wall., at 105 (“Repeals by implication are not favored”)

Determining when explicit congressional authorization is and is not required appears by this decision to require a court to first determine whether an implicit authorization would amount to a “repeal by implication” of the governing Act.

The exclusivity clause also raises a separation of powers issue. (See Constitutional law issues below)

The arguments against the legality of the NSA fall into two broad categories, those who argue that FISA raises no Constitutional issues and therefore the NSA program is illegal on its face

Common to both of these views is the argument that the participation of “US persons” as defined in FISA 50 U.S.C.1801 renders the objectional intercepts “domestic” in nature.[73] Those advocating the “no constitutional issue” position, argue that Congress has the authority it needs to legislate in this area under Article I and the Fourth Amendment[74] while those who see a constitutional conflict[75] acknowledge that the existing delineation between Congressional and Executive authority in this area is not clear[76] but that Congress, in including the exclusivity clause in FISA, meant to carve out a legitimate role for itself in this arena.

The administration holds that an exception to the normal warrant requirements exists when the purpose of the surveillance is to prevent attack from a foreign threat. Such an exception has been upheld at the Circuit Court level when the target was a foreign agent residing abroad,[77][78] a foreign agent residing in the US,[79][80][81][82] and a US citizen abroad.[83] The warrantless exception was struck down when both the target and the threat was deemed domestic.[84] The legality of targeting US persons acting as agents of a foreign power and residing in this country has not been addressed by the US Supreme Court, but has occurred at least once, in the case of Aldrich Ames.[85]

The Administration’s position with regard to statutory interpretation, as outlined in the DOJ whitepaper, is to avoid what it has termed the “difficult Constitutional questions” by

This argument, as outlined in the DOJ whitepaper, is based on the language of the AUMF, specifically, the acknowledgment of the President’s Constitutional authority contained in the preamble; “Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States”, and the language in the resolution itself;

[Be it resolved] [t]hat the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

The administration also adds that the program is legal under Title II of the USA PATRIOT Act entitled Enhanced Surveillance Procedures,[citation needed] although it is not relying upon the domestic law enforcement provisions of the PATRIOT Act for authorization of any of the NSA program activities.[citation needed] The President had said prior to this, that Americans’ civil liberties were being protected and that purely domestic wiretapping was being conducted pursuant to warrants under applicable law, including the Patriot Act.[87]

These arguments must be compared to the language of the FISA itself, which states:

Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress.[88]

Because the law only authorizes the President to bypass the FISA court during the first 15 days of a war declared by Congress (see “Declaration of war”), the administration’s argument rests on the assumption that the AUMF gave the President more power than was understood as absolutely implicit in any Congressional “declaration of war” at the time of the statute’s enactment. However, as a “declaration of war by the Congress” encompasses all military actions so declared, no matter how small, brief or otherwise constrained by Congress, the above citation could be seen as setting not a default or typical level of Presidential wartime authority, but instead a presumptive minimum, which might more often than not be extended (explicitly or implicitly) by Congress’s war declaration.

According to Peter J. Wallison, former White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan: “It is true, of course, that a president’s failure to report to Congress when he is required to do so by law is a serious matter, but in reality the reporting requirement was a technicality that a President could not be expected to know about.”[89] In regard to this program, a Gang of Eight (eight key members of Congress, thirteen in this case between the 107th and 109th Congressional Sessions) have been kept informed to some degree:

Under the National Security Act of 1947, 501503, codified as 50 USC 413-413b,[90] the President is required to keep Congressional intelligence committees “fully and currently” informed of U.S. intelligence activities, “consistent with … protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.” For covert actions, from which intelligence gathering activities are specifically excluded in 413b(e)(1), the President is specifically permitted to limit reporting to the so-called “Gang of Eight”.[91]

The administration contends that with regard to the NSA surveillance program, the administration fulfilled its notification obligations by briefing key members of Congress (thirteen individuals in this case between the 107th and 109th Congressional sessions) have been briefed on the NSA program more than a dozen times[citation needed] but they were forbidden from sharing information about the program with other members or staff.[citation needed]

On January 18, 2006 the Congressional Research Service released a report, “Statutory Procedures Under Which Congress Is To Be Informed of U.S. Intelligence Activities, Including Covert Actions”.[92][93] That report found that “[b]ased upon publicly reported descriptions of the program, the NSA surveillance program would appear to fall more closely under the definition of an intelligence collection program, rather than qualify as a covert action program as defined by statute”, and, therefore, concluded there was no specific statutory basis for limiting briefings on the terrorist surveillance program to the Gang of Eight.[94] However, the report goes on to note in its concluding paragraph that limited disclosure is also permitted under the statute “in order to protect intelligence sources and methods”.[95]

Thus, although the specific statutory “Gang of Eight” notification procedure for covert action would not seem to apply to the NSA program, it is not clear if a limited notification procedure intended to protect sources and methods is expressly prohibited. Additionally, should the sources and methods exception apply it will require a factual determination as to whether it should apply to disclosure of the program itself or only to specific sensitive aspects.

The constitutional debate surrounding executive authorization of warrantless surveillance is principally about separation of powers (“checks and balances”). If, as discussed above, no “fair reading” of FISA can be found in satisfaction of the canon of avoidance, these issues will have to be decided at the appellate level, by United States courts of appeals. It should be noted that in such a separation of powers dispute, the burden of proof is placed upon the Congress to establish its supremacy in the matter: the Executive branch enjoys the presumption of authority until an Appellate Court rules against it.[citation needed]

Article I vests Congress with the sole authority “To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces” and “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” The U.S. Supreme Court has used the “necessary and proper” clause of Article I to affirm broad Congressional authority to legislate as it sees fit in the domestic arena[citation needed] but has limited its application in the arena of foreign affairs. In the landmark Curtiss-Wright decision, Justice Sutherland writes in his opinion of the Court:

The [“powers of the federal government in respect of foreign or external affairs and those in respect of domestic or internal affairs”] are different, both in respect of their origin and their nature. The broad statement that the federal government can exercise no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and such implied powers as are necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers, is categorically true only in respect of our internal affairs.

Article II vests the President with power as “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,” and requires that he “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”.

The U.S. Supreme Court has historically used Article II to justify wide deference to the President in the arena of foreign affairs.[citation needed] Two historical and recent Supreme Court cases define the secret wiretapping by the NSA. Quoting again from the Curtiss-Wright decision:

It is important to bear in mind that we are here dealing not alone with an authority vested in the President by an exertion of legislative power, but with such an authority plus the very delicate, plenary and exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relationsa power which does not require as a basis for its exercise an act of Congress, but which, of course, like every other governmental power, must be exercised in subordination to the applicable provisions of the Constitution.

The extent of the President’s power as Commander-in-Chief has never been fully defined, but two U.S. Supreme Court cases are considered seminal in this area:[96][97]Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer and Curtiss-Wright.

In addition, two relatively new cases, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, have clarified, and in the case of Hamdan limited, the scope of executive power to detain and try suspected terrorists as enemy combatants.

In Hamdan, the Court’s opinion in footnote 23, rejected the notion that Congress is impotent to regulate the exercise of executive war powers:

Whether or not the President has independent power, absent congressional authorization, to convene military commissions, he may not disregard limitations that Congress has, in proper exercise of its own war powers, placed on his powers. See Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U. S. 579, 637 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring). The Government does not argue otherwise.

Whether “proper exercise” of Congressional war powers includes authority to regulate the gathering of foreign intelligence, which in other rulings[citation needed] has been recognized as “fundamentally incident to the waging of war”, is a historical point of contention between the Executive and Legislative branches.[8][98]

As noted in “Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance to Gather Foreign Intelligence Information”, published by The Congressional Research Service:

A review of the history of intelligence collection and its regulation by Congress suggests that the two political branches have never quite achieved a meeting of the minds regarding their respective powers. Presidents have long contended that the ability to conduct surveillance for intelligence purposes is a purely executive function, and have tended to make broad assertions of authority while resisting efforts on the part of Congress or the courts to impose restrictions. Congress has asserted itself with respect to domestic surveillance, but has largely left matters involving overseas surveillance to executive self-regulation, subject to congressional oversight and willingness to provide funds.

The same report makes clear the Congressional view that intelligence gathered within the U.S. and where “one party is a U.S. person” qualifies as domestic in nature and as such completely within their purview to regulate, and further that Congress may “tailor the President’s use of an inherent constitutional power”:

The passage of FISA and the inclusion of such exclusivity language reflects Congress’s view of its authority to cabin the President’s use of any inherent constitutional authority with respect to warrantless electronic surveillance to gather foreign intelligence.

The Senate Judiciary Committee articulated its view with respect to congressional power to tailor the President’s use of an inherent constitutional power:

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights and helps guard against “unreasonable” searches and seizures by agents of the government. It is solely a right of the people that neither the Executive nor Legislative branch can lawfully abrogate, not even if acting in concert: no statute can make an unreasonable search reasonable, nor a reasonable search unreasonable.

The term “unreasonable” is deliberately imprecise but connotes the sense that there is a rational basis for the search and that it is not an excessive imposition upon the individual given the motivation for and circumstances of the search, and is in accordance with customary societal norms. It is conceived that a judge will be sufficiently distanced from the authorities seeking a warrant that they can render an impartial decision unaffected by any prejudices or improper motivations they (or the legislators who enacted a law they are seeking to enforce) may harbor.

An individual who believes their Fourth Amendment rights have been violated by an unreasonable search or seizure may file a civil suit for monetary compensation and seek a court-ordered end to a pattern or practice of such unlawful activities by government authorities, although the plaintiff will need to have evidence that such a wiretap is taking place in order to show standing (Amnesty International v. Clapper). Such civil rights violations are sometimes punishable by state or federal law. Evidence obtained in an unlawful search or seizure is generally inadmissible in a criminal trial.

The law countenances searches without warrant as “reasonable” in numerous circumstances, among them (see below): the persons, property, and papers of individuals crossing the border of the United States and those of paroled felons; in prisons, public schools and government offices; and of international mail. Although these are undertaken as a result of statute or Executive order, they should not be seen as deriving their legitimacy from these, rather, the Fourth Amendment explicitly allows reasonable searches, and the government has instituted some of these as public policy.

The Supreme Court held in Katz v. United States (1967), that the monitoring and recording of private conversations within the United States constitutes a “search” for Fourth Amendment purposes, and therefore the government must generally obtain a warrant before undertaking such domestic recordings.

The Supreme Court has also held in Smith v Maryland (1979) that citizens have no Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy in the business records (sometimes termed metadata) of their communications. This means that the court can subpoena data such as the numbers that an individual has phoned, when and, to a limited degree, where (subject to Jones v. United States) the phone conversation occurred, although a full judicial warrant would be required for the government to acquire or admit audio content from the telephone call. Under Section 215 of the PATRIOT act, the FBI can subpoena some or all such records from a business record holder using a warrant applied for in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The protection of “private conversations” has been held to apply only to conversations where the participants have not only manifested a desire but also a reasonable expectation that their conversation is indeed private and that no other party is listening in. In the absence of such a reasonable expectation, the Fourth Amendment does not apply, and surveillance without warrant does not violate it. Privacy is clearly not a reasonable expectation in communications to persons in the many countries whose governments openly intercept electronic communications, and is of dubious reasonability in countries against which the United States is waging war.

The law also recognizes a distinction between domestic surveillance taking place within U.S. borders and foreign surveillance of non-U.S. persons either in the U.S. or abroad.[99] In United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the principle that the Constitution does not extend protection to non-U.S. persons located outside of the United States, so no warrant would be required to engage in even physical searches of non-U.S. citizens abroad.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of warrantless searches targeting foreign powers or their agents within the US. There have been, however, a number of Circuit Court rulings upholding the constitutionality of such warrantless searches.[100] In United States v. Bin Laden, the Second Circuit noted that “no court, prior to FISA, that was faced with the choice, imposed a warrant requirement for foreign intelligence searches undertaken within the United States.”[101] Assistant Attorney General William Moschella in his written response to questions from the House Judiciary Committee explained that in the administration’s view, this unanimity of pre-FISA Circuit Court decisions vindicates their argument that warrantless foreign-intelligence surveillance authority existed prior to FISA and since, as these ruling indicate, that authority derives from the Executive’s inherent Article II powers, they may not be encroached by statute.[102] In 2002, the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (Court of Review) met for the first time and issued an opinion (In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001) which seems to echo that view. They too noted all the Federal courts of appeal having looked at the issue had concluded that there was constitutional power for the president to conduct warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance. Furthermore, based on these rulings it “took for granted such power exits” and ruled that under this presumption, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.” Professor Orin Kerr argues in rebuttal that the part of In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001 that dealt with FISA (rather than the Fourth Amendment) was nonbinding obiter dicta and that the argument does not restrict Congress’s power to regulate the executive in general.[103]

Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School, Suzanne Spaulding, former general counsel for the Intelligence Committees of the House and Senate, and former Counsel to the President John Dean, contend that FISA clearly makes the wiretapping illegal and subject to the criminal penalties of FISA,[104] (in seeming disagreement with the FISA Court of Review finding above) and that the president’s own admissions already constitute sufficient evidence of a violation of the Fourth Amendment, without requiring further factual evidence. Professor John C. Eastman, in his analysis, prepared at the behest of the House Judiciary Committee, comparing the CRS and DOJ reports, concluded instead that under the Constitution and ratified by both historical and Supreme Court precedent, “the President clearly has the authority to conduct surveillance of enemy communications in time of war and of the communications to and from those he reasonably believes are affiliated with our enemies. Moreover, it should go without saying that such activities are a fundamental incident of war.”[105]

Orin S. Kerr, associate professor of law at The George Washington University Law School[106] and a leading scholar in the subjects of computer crime law and internet surveillance,[107] points to an analogy between the NSA intercepts and searches allowed by the Fourth Amendment under the border search exception.

The border search exception permits searches at the border of the United States “or its functional equivalent.” (United States v. Montoya De Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531, 538 (1985)). The idea here is that the United States as a sovereign nation has a right to inspect stuff entering or exiting the country as a way of protecting its sovereign interests, and that the Fourth Amendment permits such searches. Courts have applied the border search exception in cases of PCs and computer hard drives; if you bring a computer into or out of the United States, the government can search your computer for contraband or other prohibited items at the airport or wherever you are entering or leaving the country. See, e.g., United States v. Ickes, 393 F.3d 501 (4th Cir. 2005) (Wilkinson, J.)…At the same time, I don’t know of a rationale in the case law for treating data differently than physical storage devices. The case law on the border search exception is phrased in pretty broad language, so it seems at least plausible that a border search exception could apply to monitoring at an ISP or telephone provider as the “functional equivalent of the border,” much like airports are the functional equivalent of the border in the case of international airline travel…the most persuasive case on point: United States v. Ramsey, [held] that the border search exception applies to all international postal mail, permitting all international postal mail to be searched.

Evidence gathered without warrant may raise significant Fourth Amendment issues which could preclude its use in a criminal trial. As a general rule of law, evidence obtained improperly without lawful authority, may not be used in a criminal prosecution.[citation needed] The U.S. Supreme Court has never addressed the constitutionality of warrantless searches (which has been broadly defined by the court to include surveillance) targeting foreign powers or their agents, the admissibility of such evidence in a criminal trial nor whether it is permissible to obtain or use evidence gathered without warrant against US persons acting as agents of a foreign power.[citation needed]

The National Security Act of 1947[108] requires Presidential findings for covert acts. SEC. 503. [50 U.S.C. 413b] (a) (5) of that act states: “A finding may not authorize any action that would violate the Constitution or any statute of the United States.”

On August 17, 2006, Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in ACLU v. NSA that the Terrorist Surveillance Program was unconstitutional under the Fourth and First Amendments and enjoined the NSA from using the program to conduct electronic surveillance “in contravention of [FISA or Title III]”.[36] In her ruling,[109] she wrote:

The President of the United States, a creature of the same Constitution which gave us these Amendments, has indisputably violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders as required by FISA, and accordingly has violated the First Amendment Rights of these Plaintiffs as well.

Even some legal experts who agreed with the outcome have criticized the reasoning set forth in the opinion.[110] Others have argued that the perceived flaws in the opinion in fact reflect the Department of Justice’s refusal to argue the legal merits of the program (they chose to focus solely on arguments about standing and state secrets grounds).[111]

On October 4, 2006, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit unanimously ruled that the government can continue the program while it appeals the lower court decision.[112][113]

On July 6, 2007 the Sixth Circuit dismissed the case, finding that the plaintiffs had no standing.

The Court found that:[114]

[T]he plaintiffs do not and because of the State Secrets Doctrine cannot produce any evidence that any of their own communications have ever been intercepted by the NSA, under the TSP, or without warrants. Instead, they assert a mere belief, which they contend is reasonable and which they label a well founded belief,…

Implicit in each of the plaintiffs’ alleged injuries is the underlying possibility which the plaintiffs label a “well founded belief” and seek to treat as a probability or even a certainty that the NSA is presently intercepting, or will eventually intercept, communications to or from one or more of these particular plaintiffs, and that such interception would be detrimental to the plaintiffs’ clients, sources, or overseas contacts. This is the premise upon which the plaintiffs’ entire theory is built.

But even though the plaintiffs’ beliefs based on their superior knowledge of their contacts’ activities may be reasonable, the alternative possibility remains that the NSA might not be intercepting, and might never actually intercept, any communication by any of the plaintiffs named in this lawsuit.

Corporate secrecy is also an issue. Wired reported: In a letter to the EFF, AT&T objected to the filing of the documents in any manner, saying that they contain sensitive trade secrets and could be “used to ‘hack’ into the AT&T network, compromising its integrity.”[115] However, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker stated, during the September 12, 2008 hearing in the class-action lawsuit filed by the EFF, that the Klein evidence could be presented in court, effectively ruling that AT&T’s trade secret and security claims were unfounded.

The majority of legal arguments supporting the NSA warrantless surveillance program have been based on the War Powers Resolution. There have not been any other noteworthy types of supporting legal arguments. The War Powers Resolution has been questioned as unconstitutional since its creation, and its adaptation to the NSA warrantless surveillance program has been questionable.

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Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast | Le Roy, IL 61752 Hotel

 Beaches  Comments Off on Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast | Le Roy, IL 61752 Hotel
Jan 242016
 

Enjoy comfort and convenience at our Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast hotel, located off Interstate 74, midway between Bloomington and Champaign. Our non-smoking Le Roy, IL, hotel is also just 15 miles from Bloomington-Normal Airport (BMI) and offers easy access to Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University and companies like Pioneer Hi-Bred and Vestas Wind Energy, as well as golf and recreational activities, making us your ideal choice for hotels and motels in the Bloomington area.

Wake up each morning to a free Daybreak continental breakfast with hot waffles, surf the web or check your email using our free Wi-Fi, and take advantage of our ample free parking, including large-vehicle parking. Our in-room amenities include a microwave, mini-refrigerator and flat-screen HDTV, and kids 17 and under stay free with an adult at our pet-friendly hotel.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

Those seeking to commune with nature can fish, go horseback riding and rent paddle boats at Moraine View State Park, just seven miles from our Le Roy, IL, hotel or take the drive to Clinton Lake State Recreation Area, just 20 miles away. Golfers can hit the links at nearby Le Roy Country Club, and those in the area visiting students will find Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University just 20 miles from our Le Roy hotel, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign just 35 miles away.

DINING OPTIONS

You will find several restaurants close by our hotel in Le Roy. Jacks Caf serves up hearty family-style fare, and Woodys Family Restaurant features an all-you-can-eat-buffet. Teddy Buckmens offers zesty southern fare, while China King is the place to go if you are craving Chinese food. For those on the run, familiar, tasty cheap eats including McDonalds, Arbys and Subway are all within a half-mile of our Le Roy, Illinois hotel.

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Days Inn Le Roy/Bloomington Southeast | Le Roy, IL 61752 Hotel

Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution …

 Fourth Amendment  Comments Off on Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution …
Jan 192016
 

The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) of the United States Constitution prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.

Southern states of the former Confederacy adopted poll taxes in laws of the late 19th century and new constitutions from 1890 to 1908, after the Democratic Party had generally regained control of state legislatures decades after the end of Reconstruction, as a measure to prevent African Americans and often poor whites from voting. Use of the poll taxes by states was held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1937 decision Breedlove v. Suttles.

When the 24th Amendment was ratified in 1964, five states still retained a poll tax: Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The amendment prohibited requiring a poll tax for voters in federal elections. But it was not until 1966 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 63 in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections that poll taxes for any level of elections were unconstitutional. It said these violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Subsequent litigation related to potential discriminatory effects of voter registration requirements has generally been based on application of this clause.

Poll tax

Cumulative poll tax (missed poll taxes from prior years must also be paid to vote)

No poll tax

Southern states adopted the poll tax as a requirement for voting as part of a series of laws intended to marginalize black Americans from politics so far as practicable without violating the Fifteenth Amendment. This required that voting not be limited by “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” All voters were required to pay the poll tax, but in practice it most affected the poor. Notably this impacted both African Americans and poor white voters, some of whom had voted with Populist and Fusionist candidates in the late 19th century, temporarily disturbing Democratic rule. Proponents of the poll tax downplayed this aspect and assured white voters they would not be affected. Passage of poll taxes began in earnest in the 1890s, as Democrats wanted to prevent another Populist-Republican coalition. Despite election violence and fraud, African Americans were still winning numerous local seats. By 1902, all eleven states of the former Confederacy had enacted a poll tax, many within new constitutions that contained other provisions to reduce voter lists, such as literacy or comprehension tests. The poll tax was used together with grandfather clauses and the “white primary”, and threats of violence. For example, potential voters had to be “assessed” in Arkansas, and blacks were utterly ignored in the assessment.[2]

From 19001937, such use of the poll tax was nearly ignored by the federal government. Some state-level initiatives repealed it. The poll tax survived a legal challenge in the 1937 Supreme Court case Breedlove v. Suttles, which ruled that “[The] privilege of voting is not derived from the United States, but is conferred by the state and, save as restrained by the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and other provisions of the Federal Constitution, the state may condition suffrage as it deems appropriate.”[3]

The issue remained prominent, as most African Americans in the South were disenfranchised. President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke out against the tax. He publicly called it “a remnant of the Revolutionary period” that the country had moved past. However, Roosevelt’s favored liberal Democrats lost in the 1938 primaries to the reigning conservative Southern Democrats, and he backed off the issue. He felt that he needed Southern Democratic votes to pass New Deal programs and did not want to further antagonize them.[4] Still, efforts at the Congressional level to abolish the poll tax continued. A 1939 bill to abolish the poll tax in federal elections was tied up by the Southern Block, lawmakers whose long tenure in office from a one-party region gave them seniority and command of numerous important committee chairmanships. A discharge petition was able to force the bill to be considered, and the House passed the bill 25484.[5] However, the bill was unable to defeat a filibuster in the Senate by Southern senators and a few Northern allies who valued the support of the powerful and senior Southern seats. This bill would be re-proposed in the next several Congresses. It came closest to passage during World War II, when opponents framed abolition as a means to help overseas soldiers vote. However, after learning that the US Supreme Court decision Smith v. Allwright (1944) banned use of the “white primary,” the Southern block refused to approve abolition of the poll tax.[6]

In 1946, the Senate came close to passing the bill. 24 Democrats and 15 Republicans approved an end to debate, while 7 non-southern Democrats and 7 Republicans joined with the 19 Southern Democrats in opposition. The result was a 39-33 vote in favor of the bill, but the filibuster required a two-thirds supermajority to break at the time; a 48-24 vote was required to pass the bill.[clarification needed] Those in favor of abolition of the poll tax considered a constitutional amendment after the 1946 defeat, but that idea did not advance either.[7]

The tenor of the debate changed in the 1940s. Southern politicians tried to shift the debate to Constitutional issue, but private correspondence indicates that black disenfranchisement was still the true concern. For instance, Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo declared, “If the poll tax bill passes, the next step will be an effort to remove the registration qualification, the educational qualification of Negroes. If that is done we will have no way of preventing the Negroes from voting.”[8] This fear explains why even Southern Senators from states that had abolished the poll tax still opposed the bill; they did not want to set a precedent that the federal government could interfere in state elections.

President Harry S. Truman established the President’s Committee on Civil Rights, which among other issues investigated the poll tax. Considering that opposition to federal poll tax regulation in 1948 was claimed as based on the Constitution, the Committee noted that a constitutional amendment might be the best way to proceed. Still, little occurred during the 1950s. Members of the anti-poll tax movement laid low during the anti-Communist frenzy of the period; some of the main proponents of poll tax abolition, such as Joseph Gelders and Vito Marcantonio, had been committed Marxists.[9]

President John F. Kennedy returned to this issue. His administration urged Congress to adopt and send such an amendment to the states for ratification. He considered the constitutional amendment the best way to avoid a filibuster, as the claim that federal abolition of the poll tax was unconstitutional would be moot. Still, some liberals opposed Kennedy’s action, feeling that an amendment would be too slow compared to legislation.[10]Spessard Holland, a conservative Democrat from Florida, introduced the amendment to the Senate. Holland opposed most civil rights legislation during his career,[11] and Kennedy’s gaining of his support helped splinter monolithic Southern opposition to the Amendment. Ratification of the amendment was relatively quick, taking slightly more than a year; it was rapidly ratified by state legislatures across the country from August 1962 to January 1964.

President Lyndon B. Johnson called the amendment a “triumph of liberty over restriction” and “a verification of people’s rights.”[12] States that maintained the poll tax were more reserved. Mississippi’s Attorney General, Joe Patterson, complained about the complexity of two sets of voters – those who paid their poll tax and could vote in all elections, and those who had not and could only vote in federal elections.[12] Additionally, non-payers of the poll tax could still be deterred by requirements that they register far in advance of the election and retain records of such registration.[13] States such as Alabama also exercised discrimination in the application of literacy tests.

Ratified amendment, 196264

Ratified amendment post-enactment, 1977, 1989, 2002, 2009

Rejected amendment

Didn’t ratify amendment

Congress proposed the Twenty-fourth Amendment on August 27, 1962.[14][15] The amendment was submitted to the states on September 24, 1962, after it passed with the requisite two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.[12] The following states ratified the amendment:

Ratification was completed on January 23, 1964. The Georgia legislature did make a last-second attempt to be the 38th state to ratify. This was a surprise as “no Southern help could be expected”[13] for the amendment. The Georgia Senate quickly and unanimously passed it, but the House did not act in time.[12] Georgia’s ratification was apparently dropped after South Dakota’s ratification.

The amendment was subsequently ratified by the following states:

The amendment was specifically rejected by the following state:

The following states have not ratified the amendment:

Arkansas effectively repealed its poll tax for all elections with Amendment 51 to the Arkansas Constitution at the November 1964 general election, several months after this amendment was ratified. The poll-tax language was not completely stricken from its Constitution until Amendment 85 in 2008.[16] Of the five states originally affected by this amendment, Arkansas was the only one to repeal its poll tax; the other four retained their taxes until they were struck down in 1966 by the US Supreme Court decision in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966), which ruled poll taxes unconstitutional even for state elections. Federal district courts in Alabama and Texas, respectively, struck down their poll taxes less than two months before the Harper ruling was issued.

The state of Virginia accommodated the amendment by providing an “escape clause” to the poll tax. In lieu of paying the poll tax, a prospective voter could file paperwork to gain a certificate establishing a place of residence in Virginia. The papers would have to be filed six months in advance of voting and the voter had to provide a copy of certificate at the time of voting. This measure was expected to decrease the number of legal voters.[17] In the 1965 Supreme Court decision Harman v. Forssenius, the Court unanimously found such measures unconstitutional. It declared that for federal elections, “the poll tax is abolished absolutely as a prerequisite to voting, and no equivalent or milder substitute may be imposed.”[18]

While not directly related to the Twenty-fourth Amendment, the Supreme Court case Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) ruled that the poll tax was unconstitutional at every level, not just for federal elections. The Harper decision relied upon the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, rather than the Twenty-Fourth Amendment. As such, issues related to whether burdens on voting are equivalent to poll taxes in discriminatory effect have usually been litigated on Equal Protection grounds since.

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Liberty News Online

 Liberty  Comments Off on Liberty News Online
Jan 142016
 

HEADLINES USA :: Freedom and Liberty OREGON STANDOFF UPDATE: THE FEDERAL LAND TAKEOVER WAS PLANNED FOR MONTHS 01-14-2016 10:44 am – Carli Brosseau – The Oregonian It might have looked spontaneous, but the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge this month was part of a plan Ammon Bundy and a trusted associate developed largely in secret over the past two months. Bundy, the son of controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and Ryan Payne, a militia leader from Montana, came to believe that an armed occupation was the only way to bring Read more … View Image USA :: Politics STATE OF THE UNION: BALD FACED LIES 01-14-2016 7:47 am – Frosty Wooldridge My dad told me, Son, if you tell a lie, you must keep telling more lies to cover up your original lie. Soon, you cant remember a lie from the truth. When that happens, you stumble into your own lies until you lose respect from friends and colleagues. Once that happens, you never regain their respect. My dad continued, But if you tell the truth, it Read more … View Image USA :: Preparedness Info FIVE INTELLIGENCE ESSENTIALS FOR COMMUNITY SECURITY 01-14-2016 5:44 am – Sam Culper – Oath Keeper We as veterans are blessed. Not only can we say that we answered the call and served in our nations military (many of us at time of war), but we also received some of the best training the world has to offer. I enlisted as an aimless 20 year old, and military service instilled in me discipline and taught me a skill, as well as the Read more … View Image USA :: Politics DONALD TRUMP: OUR COUNTRY NEEDS MY ANGER 01-13-2016 6:58 pm – Lisa Hagen – The Hill Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is right that he is one of the angriest voices but Trump said thats a good thing for America. She is right. I am angry, and a lot of other people are angry too at how incompetently our country’s being run, Trump said Wednesday night on CNNs Erin Burnett Outfront. I dont care, let Read more … View Image Germany :: Politics MEMBERSHIP IN GERMAN RIGHT WING PARTY SURGES AFTER RAPE EPIDEMIC BY MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS 01-13-2016 6:50 pm – The Independent UK Germanys eurosceptic right-wing party has hit a new all-time high in the opinion polls as concern about migration rises in the country. Alternative for Germany (AfD) would take 11.5 per cent of the vote is a federal general election were held today, according to a poll for Bild magazine. The party is in third place after Angela Merkels CDU/CSU, who are on 35 per cent. The Read more … View Image USA :: Constitutional Issues STANDOFF IN OREGON CENTERS ON LAND OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL 01-13-2016 6:31 pm – John McManus – John Birch Society Understanding the resistance to federal agencies currently shown in headlines and newscasts nationwide should begin with a reading of the U.S. Constitution. A good look at the venerable document will lead to the conclusion that the federal governments numerous bureaus and agencies are illicitly controlling vast parcels of land, mostly in the 12 western states. They are doing so without constitutional authority. The amount of federal Read more … View Image Netherlands :: Radical Islam GIVE WOMEN THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES 01-13-2016 6:13 pm – Geert Wilders “Cultural enrichment” has brought us a new word: Taharrush. Remember it well, because we are going to have to deal with it a lot. Taharrush is the Arabic word for the phenomenon whereby women are encircled by groups of men and sexually harassed, assaulted, groped, raped. After the Cologne taharrush on New Year’s Eve, many German women bought pepper spray. Who can blame them? A culture Read more … View Image USA :: Constitutional Issues OBAMA WHITE HOUSE PROMISES A DICTATORIAL 2016 01-13-2016 5:35 pm – Wallace Judging by recent remarks from his chief of staff, President Barack Obamas last year in the White House is going to be a painful one for conservatives. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough told reporters this week to hold off on declaring Obama a lame duck just yet. According to the top official, 2016 is set to be a year of audacious executive action from Read more … View Image USA :: Media Bias AL JAZEERA AMERICA TO SHUT DOWN IN APRIL 2016 01-13-2016 11:56 am – Fox News Al Jazeera America, which went on the air in 2013 — and is partly funded by the ruling family of Qatar — announced Wednesday it is shutting down at the end of April, citing the “economic landscape of the media environment.” The network said in a statement that “Al Jazeera America will cease operation by April 30, 2016,” explaining that “while Al Jazeera America built a Read more … View Image USA :: Freedom and Liberty ATF STILL SQUANDERING RESOURCES AND PADDING NUMBERS EVEN AFTER ‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ SCANDAL 01-13-2016 9:33 am – David Codrea – Oath Keepers Part of Obamas executive action overreach on guns involves an increased role for ATF. In order to make that happen, his 2017 budget include[s] funding for 200 new ATF agents and investigators. They just dont have enough money. Before that the excuse was they just didnt have a permanent director. That the corruption and incompetence continued and expended under the management of B. Todd Jones, and Read more … View Image USA :: Freedom and Liberty IT’S TIME FOR AMERICA TO GET UP OFF THE MAT 01-13-2016 9:16 am – Michael Savage In todays issue: Dr. Savage recalled some of the wisdom he gleaned from his years growing up in New York City that apply to the nations current, dire political and social situation. One particular source of wisdom was the owner of a bar on New Yorks Upper East Side with whom Savage and some of his middle-school aged friends would hang around. This guy was a Read more … View Image USA :: Economy U.S. ECONOMIC POLICY NEEDS A RESET 01-13-2016 4:17 am – Jason D. Meister – Fox Business News With a new year underway and the Obama administration winding down we now focus on the 2016 election. Primaries are just around the corner and will set the tone for the New Year as the race for the White House heats up. This week FOX Business Network will host the sixth Republican presidential primary debate in North Charleston South Carolina just two days after President Obama Read more … View Image USA :: Immigration Issues IT’S TIME TO END CHAIN MIGRATION INTO THE USA 01-12-2016 9:16 am – Numbers USA Chain Migration refers to the endless chains of foreign nationals who are allowed to immigrate because citizens and lawful permanent residents are allowed to bring in their non-nuclear family members. Chain Migration is the primary mechanism that has caused legal immigration in this country to quadruple from about 250,000 per year in the 1950s and 1960s to more than 1 million annually since 1990. As such, Read more … View Image USA :: Freedom and Liberty BULDOZING MONUMENTS AND THE WAR ON AMERICAN HISTORY 01-12-2016 9:05 am – Jarret Stepman – Breitbart.com On December 17, the New Orleans City Council voted to remove four Confederate statues from the city, using obscure nuisance laws to strip these over 100-year-old historic monuments from their places of display. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said it was a courageous decision to turn a page on our divisive past and chart the course for a more inclusive future. Of course, the plan to remove the Read more … View Image Worldwide :: Radical Islam WHY ARE WESTERN LEADERS SELLOUTS TO ISLAM? 01-11-2016 7:28 pm – Nonie Darwish Is someone holding a gun to the heads of Western politicians, forcing them to state immediately after every Muslim terror attack that Islam has nothing whatsoever to do with terror? Who cares about whether Islam has or has not something to do with terror? The only people who care about Islams reputation are the so-called moderate Muslims who have been making excuses for jihad terror, and Read more … View Image USA :: Immigration Issues REPORT: THE U.N. – NOT THE U.S. GOVT – MAKES FIRST DECISION ABOUT WHICH MUSLIM REFUGEES CAN COME TO AMERICA 01-11-2016 7:20 pm – Leah Barkoukis – Town Hall If Americans were already concerned about the U.S.s vetting process for Syrian refugees, theyre really not going to like to hear what a new report says about how those refugees are initially selected in the first place. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the U.S. relies on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to make first selections about who has the potential to come Read more … View Image Germany :: Radical Islam GERMAN CITIZENS PROTEST AGAINST MUSLIM REFUGEES AND VIGILANTES ATTACK SOME MUSLIM REFUGEES 01-11-2016 7:07 pm – Daily Mail UK Thousands of protesters have waved anti-migrants signs and xenophobic flags in the eastern German city of Leipzig as they demonstrated against a record refugee influx they blamed for sexual violence at New Year’s Eve events in Cologne. The rally was organised by LEGIDA, the local chapter of xenophobic group PEGIDA, the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident. Many chanted ‘We are the people’, ‘Resistance!’ Read more … View Image USA :: Freedom and Liberty OREGON STANDOFF UPDATE: THREE PERCENTERS – OATH KEEPERS AND OTHERS TRY TO MEDIATE SITUATION 01-11-2016 6:39 pm – Pacific Patriots Network Pacific Patriots Network and affiliates (Idaho and Oregon III%, Josephine county Oath Keepers, and others), made a showing of presence today at the Malheur wildlife refuge. Due to threats to members of our network and local residents, and as a deterrent to fringe groups that may have malicious intent, we arrived at the refuge in numbers, with our security teams openly armed and in full kit Read more … View Image USA :: Criminal Acts REPORT: FBI HAS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO PROSECUTE HILLARY CLINTON FOR PUBLIC CORRUPTION 01-11-2016 6:26 pm – John Sexton – Breitbart An investigation into possible mishandling of classified information on Hillary Clintons private email server has expanded to consider whether Clintons work as Secretary overlapped with her work for the Clinton Foundation run by her family. Fox News Catherine Herridge published the report, citing unnamed FBI sources, Monday morning. The report indicates the initial security referral looking into whether or not classified information was mishandled has expanded Read more … View Image USA :: Immigration Issues GENOCIDE OF AMERICA: A REFUGEE IMMIGRANT INVASION 01-11-2016 11:41 am – Frosty Wooldridge Over New Years, the British Broadcasting Company reported that African-Syrian refugees sexually attacked 1,0000 German women. Even CBS News reported the attacks this past Sunday night, January 10, 2015! On Saturday night, a Muslim gunman screamed praises to Allah in Philadelphia as he shot 12 rounds into a police car at an intersection in praise of the Islamic State. Miraculously, the officer survived. Whether its San Read more … View Image USA :: Gun Control DONALD TRUMP ENDORSES GRANNY OAKLEY 01-11-2016 3:57 am – Howie Carr – Boston Herald Shes Barack Obamas worst nightmare a law-abiding, self-supporting, pistol-packing, Donald Trump-supporting granny who defended herself against a jailbird mugging suspect by shooting him in the chest. Call her Granny Oakley or Dirty Harriet she answers to either name. What matters is how she handled herself late Monday night as she returned home from working the night shift to her apartment in Manchester, N.H. The Read more … View Image Worldwide :: New World Order – UN REPORT: BARACK OBAMA WANTS TO BE THE NEXT SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS 01-11-2016 3:50 am – Leah Barkoukis – Town Hall It seems President Obama has no intention of stepping out of the White House and fading from the limelight. No, hes got his sights set on the world stagethis time as secretary general of the United Nations, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida. But not all world leaders are keen to see this come to fruition, including first and foremost, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu. The Washington Times Read more … View Image Sweden :: Radical Islam MUSLIM RAPE EPIDEMIC: SWEDEN SHOCKED AGAIN AFTER WOMAN ‘RAPED TO DEATH’ BY SOMALI MUSLIM IMMIGRANT 01-10-2016 6:30 pm – MSFP News A 34 year old immigrant from Somalia was arrested for savagely attacking a woman in the parking garage of a Sheraton hotel in Sweden. The woman died while being raped. Police say the perpetrator continued to rape the womans corpse well after she had died. Swedens politicians dont care about their own people. Rather than being concerned and focus on the shocking violent crime and rape Read more … View Image USA :: Politics HOW MANY DEMOCRATS DO YOU SUPPOSE WOULD VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP? SEE THE NEW POLL NUMBERS 01-10-2016 5:59 pm – The Blaze Nearly one in five Democrats almost 20 percent said they would switch sides and vote for Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, according to a new poll. And even though the poll shows 14 percent of Republicans say they would vote for Hillary Clinton, a much greater percentage of Democratic voters say theyre 100 percent sure of going for Trump than their Republican counterparts. U.S. Read more … View Image USA :: Gun Control WHY ARE LIBERALS SO STUPID ABOUT GUNS? 01-10-2016 11:33 am – Tim Dunkin Any normal, reasonably intelligent person who has ever had a conversation with a liberal about guns, gun control, or any related topic has probably asked himself or herself this very question. I realize that the title for this article could easily leave off the last two words, but because I want to write an article instead of a book, I will confine myself to answering the Read more … View Image

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History of Eugenics – People at Creighton University

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Jan 112016
 

In the same era, the idea of Social Darwinism became popular and was used to explain these social inequalities. Social Darwinism utilizes the concept of natural selection from Charles Darwin and applies it to society. Social Darwinism explains survival of the fittest in terms of the capability of an individual to survive within a competitive environment. This explains social inequalities by explaining that the wealthy are better individuals and therefore better suited to survive in the uncertain economy. In terms of survival of the fittest the wealthy are more likely to survive and produce more offspring than the poor.

Early Eugenicists

Eugenicists believed genetics were the cause of problems for the human gene pool. Eugenics stated that society already had paid enough to support these degenerates and the use of sterilization would save money. The eugenicists used quantitative facts to produce scientific evidence. They believed that charity and welfare only treated the symptoms, eugenic sought to eliminate the disease. The following traits were seen as degenerative to the human gene pool to which the eugenicists were determined to eliminate: poverty, feeble-mindedness-including manic depression, schizophrenia, alcoholism, rebelliousness, criminality, nomadness, prostitution.

Before eugenics became internationally recognized in WWII, it was a very popular movement in the United States. In fact the American Eugenics Society set up pavilions and “Fitter Families Contest” to popularize eugenics at state fairs. The average family advocated for the utilization of eugenics while educational systems embraced eugenics, which was presented as science fact by the majority biology texts. In fact, eugenics became so popular that eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported study in 1911, to report the best practical means for eliminating defective genes in the Human Population. Although the eighth of the 18 solutions was euthanasia, the researchers believed it was too early to implement this solution. The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in America was a lethal chamber, or gas chamber. Instead, the main solution was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as increased marriage restrictions. However, not everybody was in favor of eugenics, Punnett at the first international congress for Eugenics in 1911 stated, Except in very few cases, our knowledge of heredity in man at present is far to slight and far too uncertain to base legislation upon.

Sterilization and Marriage Laws

Although in 1942 the Supreme Court made a law allowing the involuntary sterilization of criminals, it never reversed the general concept of eugenic sterilization. In 2001, the Virginia General Assembly acknowledged that the sterilization law was based on faulty science and expressed its “profound regret over the Commonwealth’s role in the eugenics movement in this country and over the damage done in the name of eugenics. On May 2, 2002 a marker was erected to honor Carrie Buck in her hometown of Charlottesville.

This information was taken from http://www.eugenicsarchive.org/

This information was taken from http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a371ea64170ce.html and http://www.trueorigin.org/holocaust.asp

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History of Eugenics – People at Creighton University

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History of Genetics – Eugenics

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Jan 112016
 

History of Genetics

EUGENICS

Eugenics Archive http://www.eugenicsarchive.org This site is an Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement sponsored by the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. With contributions from eleven different archives, this site offers hundreds of sources on various aspects of the eugenics movement in the United States during the twentieth century. The site is organized by virtual exhibits ranging from Social Origins to Immigration Restriction. Within each exhibit, explanatory text is presented with thumbnail images of primary source documents. The entire collection is also searchable by keyword or object identification number. The 2,500 objects can also be browsed by topic, type, or time period. Without question this is the best site on the history of American eugenics available today.

State Eugenics Sites Recent scholarship on the eugenics movement in the United States have revealed the details of eugenic enactments in different states. Recent efforts to seek reparations for eugenic sterilization are documented at North Carolinas Eugenic Past (http://www.inclusiondaily.com/news/institutions/nc/eugenics.htm), a site sponsored by the International Disability Rights News Service. Eugenic in Indiana (http://kobescent.com/eugenics/) presents a history of eugenics in Indiana in a series of webpages that include biographies, a timeline, bibliography, and text of the 1907 Indiana Sterilization statute. The most extensive collection of documents on a state eugenics program is offered by Vermont. The Vermont Eugenics: A Documentary History Collection (http://cit.uvm.edu:6336/dynaweb/eugenics/@Generic__CollectionView;cs=default;ts=default;pt=eugenics) presents a set of primary sources from the 1890s to the 1990s. Many of these documents concern Vermonts sterilization program, but this site also includes letters to national eugenics leaders, such as Charles Davenport. Because the Vermont Country Life Commission played a significant role in the Vermont eugenics movement in the 1930s, this site contains a large number of documents concerning the efforts of the Country Life Commission.

History of Eugenics Bibliography http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/bio-ethics/bibliographylombardo.cfm This site offers an extensive bibliography of both primary and secondary sources on the history of eugenics. Assembled by Paul A. Lombardo and Gregory M. Dorr, the bibliography is preceeded by a short bibliographic essay.

RaceSci http://www.racesci.org/ This site is dedicated to the history of race in science, medicine, and technology. History of the Concept of “Race” in Science. This very rich site has interpretive and historical essays, syllabi, bibliographies, and links. Of special interest are its bibliography of genetics (http://www.racesci.org/bibliographies/current_scholarship/genetics_new.htm) and its bibliography of eugenics (http://www.racesci.org/bibliographies/current_scholarship/eugenicsnew.htm), which can be searched by time period or nation.

Institute for the Study of Academic Racism (ISAR) http://www.ferris.edu/ISAR/homepage.htm Created by Dr. Barry Mehler at Ferris State University, the ISAR website contains articles and bibliographies that offer a critical perspective on academic racism, biological determinism, and eugenics. This site offers a number of valuable document collections and profiles of individuals and institutions.

H-Eugenics

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History of Genetics – Eugenics

Map of Chicago Beaches from ChicagoTraveler.com

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Dec 162015
 

Find Chicago Beaches On Our Map

Map of Chicago Illinois

The beaches are easily one of the top Chicago attractions every summer. Use this map to locate some of the most popular of Chicago’s lake Michigan lakefront beaches. Click anywhere on the map to see a list of the Chicago beach locations and find contact information.

Note: This map does not include all the beaches in Chicago, just the ones we have identified as most popular. Also, the beach locations on the map are approximate. Some have been adjusted to improve the readability of the map page. No liability is assumed for the locations presented here.

The Most Popular Beaches in Chicago include:

The Windy City is home to some of the best beaches in all of the Midwest

While you’re not likely to think of a beautiful beach shore when you picture Chicago, the Windy City is home to some of the best beaches in all of the Midwest. Located on scenic Lake Michigan – the country’s third-largest lake – Chicago beaches act as a pleasant oasis just steps from the urban jungle that is Downtown Chicago. Popular during the sweltering Summer months, the beaches of Chicago are a must-see for Chicago travelers visiting the Windy City from May – October.

For more information on where to find the best beaches Chicago, scroll below and use our helpful Chicago beach map.

*Terms & Conditions: Offers, promotions and rates subject to change and may vary based upon date, length of stay and other factors. Some offers do not include taxes and fees. All offers based on availability and are subject to change without notice.

The Chicago beaches map extends from north to south along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. The northernmost Lake Michigan beaches include the Juneway Terrace Beach, which is connected to Rogers Avenue Beach – one of the smaller beaches on the Chicago beach map. Rogers and Juneway together make up just over one block of real estate, and offer recreational activities for Chicago travelers that include tennis courts.

Locate Chicago’s the most popular lakefront beaches

Located just south on the beaches of Chicago map is perhaps the most well-reviewed beach in Chicago, the Kathy Osterman Beach. Formerly called “Hollywood Beach”, this Near North Side Chicago beach is populated mostly by families on the north side, and the south side is a predominantly gay-friendly portion of the beach. Known for its smooth sand, clean shores and diverse crowd, this quiet Chicago beach is popular with tourists and locals of all different backgrounds.

A few miles south of the Kathy Osterman Chicago Beach is the Montrose Dog Beach. This pet friendly Chicago beach is regularly filled with furry friends hoping to cool off in the comfortable Lake Michigan water. A favorite with dog-owners and families alike, the Montrose Dog Beach is open year-round, and allows your dog to exercise in a clean and open environment.

The Chicago Beach Map in the Near North Side offers up two of the most popular Chicago IL beaches, North Avenue Beach and Oak Street Beach.

Located on the Gold Coast of Chicago close to prominent Chicago buildings and attractions – including the John Hancock Observatory Tower – Oak Street Beach attracts a slightly more mature crowd than that of North Avenue Chicago Beach. However, that’s not to say this favorite beach in Chicago doesn’t know how to have a good time. Oak Street Beach is clean and spacious, and there are volleyball courts set up throughout for Chicago travelers hoping to squeeze in some exercise on their day trip to the beach.

Northern Chicago and Beach in the Summer

North Avenue Beach is located just three miles north of Oak Street, and has a reputation for being Chicago’s “party beach” on the weekends. There are tons of volleyball courts, as well as a (usually crowded) biking and running path for active Chicago travelers. North Avenue Beach is where locals and tourists visit to “see and be seen”, and is particularly popular with 20-somethings and college students.

Some of the best Chicago IL beaches on the map are located in the South Side of Chicago, where the crowds are somewhat smaller but the scenery is just as beautiful.

A favorite Chicago beach with locals, and a hidden gem most Chicago tourists tend to overlook is Promontory Point. Located near Hyde Park, this man-made point jets out towards Lake Michigan, providing beach-goers with an isolated area to swim or lay out on their smooth rocks. One of the best Chicago sunset destinations, Promontory Point in Chicago is perhaps the most relaxing beach on the Chicago Beaches Map.

Other popular beaches in Chicago just south of Promontory Point include the 63rd Street Beach and Pier in Woodlawn, as well as the South Shore and Rainbow Beaches, respectively.

For more information on fun Chicago things to do in the Summer, browse our guide of the some best Chicago attractions and free Chicago activities perfect for first-time visitors in Chicago.

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Map of Chicago Beaches from ChicagoTraveler.com

Chicago Beaches | A Guide to Beaches in Chicago

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Dec 162015
 

Chicago has some great beaches along its lakefront. These beaches are full of history and overflowing with beauty. Listed below are some of the more popular ones. They are listed starting with the northernmost location and then in order to the southernmost location. All but one of the beaches listed (Illinois Beach State Park) are located in the City of Chicago under the control of the Chicago Park District. The entire 28 miles of Chicago lakefront shoreline is man-made, and primarily used as parkland.

Aerial View of the Lakefront Beaches

Illinois Beach State Park – This beach is great for beach camping, hiking and biking with many nature trails along the shoreline. The area also includes dune area, wetlands, prairie and the southern end is a nature preserve, which in 1980 was named a National Natural Landmark.

Rogers Ave. Beach – A small beach, and barely a block long. Also has tennis courts.

Pratt Boulevard Beach – A little known jewel in Chicago with a great community feel. A long pier seperates two halves of the beach, and a very culturally diversed group gathers here, so people watching is always a pleasure.

Kathy Osterman Beach – This crescent-shaped beach is divided into two parts.Many consider this beach one of the best kept secrets in Chicago, with clean water, unlittered, white sands and one of the most spectacular views of Lake Michigan in all of Chicago. There’s a concession stand that serves alcohol and all kinds of foods (burger, hot dogs, chips, etc) and as every lady takes note of, lots of gorgeous men congregating to play volleyball. The north half of the beach is great for families, especially those with kids as the waters are shallow. The south half of the beach is very popular with the gay community. The best way to get to the Kathy Osterman Beach is by public transit, as parking around here is often very limited.

Foster Avenue Beach – A great little man-made beach usually not crowded and with lots of free/cheap parking. There’s no view of Downtown Chicago from this beach, but when you want a quiet day at the beach without tons of tourists and blaring music, this is a great spot for a relaxing afternoon at the beach. Relaxing, that is, if you don’t mind the sounds of children playing.

Montrose Dog Beach – Chicago’s largest beach with one of only two dog beaches in Chicago at the north end (“Doggie Beach”). One of the few beaches you can launch non-motorized watercraft from, and the most parking of any beach in Chicago. The beach has recently been remodeled with a 3,000 square foot deck and a full service restaurant, The Dock at Montrose Beach.

Chicago Lakefront Trail

North Ave. Beach – Considered Chicago’s premier beach and definitely its most popular. It hosts the most developed beach house resembling an ocean liner, and contains bike and sports equipment rental, a bar and restaurant (Castaways), concession stand, a lifeguard station, and restrooms. North Ave. Beach also has many volleyball courts, a lakefront path, and it is the center stage for the Chicago Air & Water Show.

Oak Street Beach – About a mile and a half long, and is home to the largest area of deep water swimming in the city. It used to be the most popular beach due to its proximity to downtown. It is also home to Chicago’s only chess pavilion and an outdoor restaurant called the Oak Street Beachstro that is assembled every summer and then dismantled at the end of the season.

Olive Park Beach – Also known as Ohio Street Beach and is located in Streeterville. It is oriented in a fashion so that it faces north instead of east like all the other beaches. This makes it an ideal training sight for open water swimming. One can swim about a half mile to the Oak Street curve without being more that a few feet from the seawall and shallow water.

Aerial View of Chicago Lakefront Illinois

12th Street Beach – Sometimes called the 14th Street Beach, it is just south of the Adler Planetarium, and has restrooms and a concession stand. 12th Street Beach is also popular for open water swimming.

31st Street Beach – Located in Burnham Park. Every Year the 31st Street Beach hosts the Junior Lifeguard Chicago Area Tug-o-War. This beach is clean, rarely crowded, and great for picnics, families and enjoying a fabulous view of Chicago.

57th Street Beach – Located in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood, the beach sits across the street from the Museum of Science and Industry. The beach provides an area for deep swimming. The bathrooms are clean, they have plenty of showers and the crowds are minimal. This stop is a must on the ride along Lake Shore Drive.

63rd Street Beach – Located in Jackson Park, it is home to the oldest beach house in the city. The beach used to be called Jackson Park Beach until 1914 when it was extended 10 acres to 63rd Street, thus changing its name. In 1919, the 63rd Street Pavilion was completed, and historically provided showers, medical rooms, and bathrooms. It was renovated in 2000, and is now used primarily by boaters, beach goers, and for special events.

Chicago Lakefront Skyline

South Shore Beach – It is located directly behind the South Shore Cultural Center (formerly the South Shore Country Club). The Country Club is a beautiful old building that houses a ballroom, restaurant, golf course, and tennis courts.

Rainbow Beach – Beginning with the 1919 Race Riot, Chicago suffered a history of race related disturbances regarding the use of public resources such as parks and beaches. Rainbow Beach was an area of controversy for black and white youth. Demographic shifts and racial climate changes of the 1960s led to a July 7 and 8, 1961 “freedom wade-in” at Rainbow Beach staged by an interracial coalition of demonstrators, including members of the NAACP Youth Council.

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Chicago Beaches | A Guide to Beaches in Chicago

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First Amendment – National Constitution Center

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Oct 282015
 

Clauses of the First Amendment

The Establishment Clause

Americas early settlers came from a variety of religious backgrounds: Puritans predominated in New England; Anglicans predominated in the South; Quakers and Lutherans flocked especially to Pennsylvania; Roman Catholics settled mostly in Maryland; Presbyterians were most numerous in the middle colonies; and there were Jewish congregations in five cities.

During colonial times, the Church of England was established by law in all of the southern colonies, while localized Puritan (or Congregationalist) establishments held sway in most New England states. In those colonies, clergy were appointed and disciplined by colonial authorities and colonists were required to pay religious taxes and (often) to attend church services. Dissenters were often punished for preaching without a license or refusing to pay taxes to a church they disagreed with. Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and much of New York had no established church.

After Independence, there was widespread agreement that there should be no nationally established church. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, principally authored by James Madison, reflects this consensus. The language of the Establishment Clause itself applies only to the federal government (Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion). All states disestablished religion by 1833, and in the 1940s the Supreme Court held that disestablishment applies to state governments through the Fourteenth Amendment.

Virtually all jurists agree that it would violate the Establishment Clause for the government to compel attendance or financial support of a religious institution as such, for the government to interfere with a religious organizations selection of clergy or religious doctrine; for religious organizations or figures acting in a religious capacity to exercise governmental power; or for the government to extend benefits to some religious entities and not others without adequate secular justification. Beyond that, the meaning of the Amendment is often hotly contested, and Establishment cases in the Supreme Court often lead to 5-4 splits.

The Lemon Test

In 1971, the Supreme Court surveyed its previous Establishment Clause cases and identified three factors that identify when a government practice violates the Establishment Clause: First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster an excessive entanglement with religion. Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). In the years since Lemon, the test has been much criticized and the Court often decides Establishment Clause cases without reference to it. Yet the Justices have not overruled the Lemon test, meaning the lower courts remain obliged to use it. In some specific areas of controversy, however, the Court has adopted specific, more targeted tests to replace Lemon.

The vast majority of Establishment Clause cases have fallen in four areas: monetary aid to religious education or other social welfare activities conducted by religious institutions; government-sponsored prayer; accommodation of religious dissenters from generally-applicable laws; and government owned or sponsored religious symbols.

Aid to religious institutions

Scholars have long debated between two opposing interpretations of the Establishment Clause as it applies to government funding: (1) that the government must be neutral between religious and non-religious institutions that provide education or other social services; or (2) that no taxpayer funds should be given to religious institutions if they might be used to communicate religious doctrine. Initially, the Court tended toward the first interpretation, in the 1970s and 1980s the Court shifted to the second interpretation, and more recently the Court has decisively moved back to the first idea.

After two early decisions upholding state statutes allowing students who attend private religious schools to receive transportation, Everson v. Board of Education (1947), and textbook subsidies available to all elementary and secondary students, Board of Education v. Allen (1968), the Court attempted for about fifteen years to draw increasingly sharp lines against the use of tax-funded assistance for the religious aspects of education. At one point the Court even forbade public school teaching specialists from going on the premises of religious schools to provide remedial assistance. Aguilar v. Felton (1985). More recently, the Court has upheld programs that provide aid to educational or social programs on a neutral basis only as a result of the genuine and independent choices of private individuals. Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002). Indeed, the Court has held that it is unconstitutional under free speech or free exercise principles to exclude otherwise eligible recipients from government assistance solely because their activity is religious in nature. Rosenberger v. University of Virginia (1995).

Government-sponsored prayer

The Courts best-known Establishment Clause decisions held it unconstitutional for public schools to lead schoolchildren in prayer or Bible reading, even on an ostensibly voluntary basis. Engel v. Vitale (1962); Abington School District v. Schempp (1963). Although these decisions were highly controversial among the public (less so among scholars), the Court has not backed down. Instead it has extended the prohibition to prayers at graduation ceremonies, Lee v. Weisman (1992), and football games, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000).

In less coercive settings involving adults, the Court has generally allowed government-sponsored prayer. In Marsh v. Chambers (1983), the Court upheld legislative prayer, specifically because it was steeped in history. More recently, the Court approved an opening prayer or statement at town council meetings, where the Town represented that it would accept any prayers of any faith. Town of Greece v. Galloway (2014).

Accommodation of religion

Hundreds of federal, state, and local laws exempt or accommodate religious believers or institutions from otherwise neutral, generally-applicable laws for whom compliance would conflict with religiously motivated conduct. Examples include military draft exemptions, kosher or halal meals for prisoners, medical neglect exemptions for parents who do not believe in medical treatment for their ill children, exemptions from some anti-discrimination laws for religious entities, military headgear requirements, and exemptions for the sacramental use of certain drugs. The Supreme Court has addressed very few of these exemptions. While the Court held that a state sales tax exemption limited to religious publications was unconstitutional in Texas Monthly, Inc. v. Bullock (1989), it unanimously upheld the exemption of religious organizations from prohibitions on employment discrimination for ministers. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. E.E.O.C. (2012).

Two federal laws, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), provide broad-based statutory accommodations for religious practice when it conflicts with federal and certain state and local laws. A unanimous Court upheld this approach for prisoners against a claim that granting religious accommodations violates the Establishment Clause, reasoning that RLUIPA alleviates exceptional government-created burdens on private religious exercise in prisons. Cutter v. Wilkinson (2005).

The Court in Cutter left open the question whether such a regime applied to land use is constitutional and it also left open the possibility that even some applications in prisons may be unconstitutional if they are not even-handed among religions or impose too extreme a burden on non-believers. The Courts recent 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014), holding that RFRA exempts for-profit employers from paying for insurance coverage of contraceptive drugs that they believe are abortion-inducing, has reinvigorated the debate over such laws.

Government-sponsored religious symbols

The cases involving governmental displays of religious symbolssuch as Ten Commandment displays in public school classrooms, courthouses, or public parks; nativity scenes in courthouses and shopping districts; or crosses on public landhave generated much debate. The most prominent approach in more recent cases is called the endorsement test; it asks whether a reasonable observer acquainted with the full context would regard the display as the government endorsing religion and, therefore, sending a message of disenfranchisement to other believers and non-believers.

The Courts decisions in this arena are often closely divided. They also illustrate that the Court has declined to take a rigid, absolutist view of the separation of church and state. In Lynch v. Donnelly (1984), the Court allowed display of a nativity scene surrounded by other holiday decorations in the heart of a shopping district, stating that it engenders a friendly community spirit of good will in keeping with the season. But in County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union (1989), a different majority of Justices held that the display of a nativity scene by itself at the top of the grand stairway in a courthouse violated the Establishment Clause because it was indisputably religiousindeed sectarian. In McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union (2005), the Court held that a prominent display of the Ten Commandments at the county courthouse, which was preceded by an officials description of the Ten Commandments as the embodiment of ethics in Christ, was a religious display that was unconstitutional. The same day, it upheld a Ten Commandments monument, which was donated by a secular organization dedicated to reducing juvenile delinquency and surrounded by other monuments on the spacious statehouse grounds. Van Orden v. Perry (2005). Only one Justice was in the majority in both cases.

More broadly, the Establishment Clause provides a legal framework for resolving disagreements about the public role of religion in our increasingly pluralistic republic.

An accurate recounting of history is necessary to appreciate the need for disestablishment and a separation between church and state.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion is one of the most misunderstood in the Constitution.

The Establishment Clause: A Check on Religious Tyranny by Marci A. Hamilton

An accurate recounting of history is necessary to appreciate the need for disestablishment and a separation between church and state. The religiosity of the generation that framed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (of which the First Amendment is the first as a result of historical accident, not the preference for religious liberty over any other right) has been overstated. In reality, many of the Framers and the most influential men of that generation rarely attended church, were often Deist rather than Christian, and had a healthy understanding of the potential for religious tyranny. This latter concern is to be expected as European history was awash with executions of religious heretics: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim. Three of the most influential men in the Framing era provide valuable insights into the mindset at the time: Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and John Adams. Franklin saw a pattern:

If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England.

Benjamin Franklin, Letter to the London Packet (June 3, 1772).

The father of the Constitution and primary drafter of the First Amendment, James Madison, in his most important document on the topic, Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments (1785), stated:

During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. . . . What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people.

Two years later, John Adams described the states as having been derived from reason, not religious belief:

It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. . . .Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Vol. 4, 292-93 (Charles C. Little & James Brown, eds., 1851).

Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are examples of early discord. In Massachusetts, the Congregationalist establishment enforced taxation on all believers and expelled or even put to death dissenters. Baptist clergy became the first in the United States to advocate for a separation of church and state and an absolute right to believe what one chooses. Baptist pastor John Leland was an eloquent and forceful proponent of the freedom of conscience and the separation of church and state. For him, America was not a Christian nation, but rather should recognize the equality of all believers, whether Jews, Turks, Pagans [or] Christians. Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. He proposed an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution in 1794 because of the evils . . . occasioned in the world by religious establishments, and to keep up the proper distinction between religion and politics.”

Pennsylvania, dubbed the Holy Experiment by founder William Penn, was politically controlled by Quakers, who advocated tolerance of all believers and the mutual co-existence of differing faiths, but who made their Christianity a prerequisite for public office, only permitted Christians to vote, and forbade work on the Sabbath. Even so, the Quakers set in motion a principle that became a mainstay in religious liberty jurisprudence: the government may not coerce citizens to believe what they are unwilling to believe. If one looks carefully into the history of the United States religious experiment, one also uncovers a widely-shared view that too much liberty, or licentiousness, is as bad as no liberty. According to historian John Philip Reid, those in the eighteenth century had as great a duty to oppose licentiousness as to defend liberty.

Establishment Clause Doctrine

The Establishment Clause has yielded a wide array of doctrines (legal theories articulated by courts), each of which is largely distinct from the others, some of which are described in Professor McConnells and my joint contribution on the Establishment Clause. The reason for this proliferation of distinct doctrines is that the Establishment Clause is rooted in a concept of separating the power of church and state. These are the two most authoritative forces of human existence, and drawing a boundary line between them is not easy. The further complication is that the exercise of power is fluid, which leads both state and church to alter their positions to gain power either one over the other or as a union in opposition to the general public or particular minorities.

The separation of church and state does not mean that there is an impermeable wall between the two, but rather that the Framers fundamentally understood that the union of power between church and state would lead inevitably to tyranny. The established churches of Europe were well-known to the Founding era and the Framers and undoubtedly contributed to James Madisons inclusion of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, and its ratification. The following are some of the most important principles.

The Government May Not Delegate Governing Authority to Religious Entities

The Court has been sensitive to incipient establishments of religion. A Massachusetts law delegated authority to churches and schools to determine who could receive a liquor license within 500 feet of their buildings. The Supreme Court struck down the law, because it delegated to churches zoning power, which belongs to state and local government, not private entities. Larkin v. Grendels Den, Inc. (1982). According to the Court: The law substitutes the unilateral and absolute power of a church for the reasoned decision making of a public legislative body . . . on issues with significant economic and political implications. The challenged statute thus enmeshes churches in the processes of government and creates the danger of [p]olitical fragmentation and divisiveness along religious lines.

In another scenario, the Supreme Court rejected an attempt to define political boundaries solely according to religion. In Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet (1994), the state of New York designated the neighborhood boundaries of Satmar Hasidim Orthodox Jews in Kiryas Joel Village as a public school district to itself. Thus, the boundary was determined solely by religious identity, in part because the community did not want their children to be exposed to children outside the faith. The Court invalidated the school district because political boundaries identified solely by reference to religion violate the Establishment Clause.

There Is No Such Thing as Church Autonomy Although There Is a Doctrine that Forbids the Courts from Determining What Religious Organizations Believe

In recent years, religious litigants have asserted a right to church autonomythat churches should not be subject to governmental regulationin a wide variety of cases, and in particular in cases involving the sexual abuse of children by clergy. The phrase, however, is misleading. The Supreme Court has never interpreted the First Amendment to confer on religious organizations a right to autonomy from the law. In fact, in the case in which they have most recently demanded such a right, arguing religious ministers should be exempt from laws prohibiting employment discrimination, the Court majority did not embrace the theory, not even using the term once. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. E.E.O.C. (2012).

The courts are forbidden, however, from getting involved in determining what a religious organization believes, how it organizes itself internally, or who it chooses to be ministers of the faith. Therefore, if the dispute brought to a court can only be resolved by a judge or jury settling an intra-church, ecclesiastical dispute, the dispute is beyond judicial consideration. This is a corollary to the absolute right to believe what one chooses; it is not a right to be above the laws that apply to everyone else. There is extraordinary slippage in legal briefs in numerous cases where the entity is arguing for autonomy, but what they really mean is freedom from the law, per se. For the Court and basic common sense, these are arguments for placing religion above the law, and in violation of the Establishment Clause. They are also fundamentally at odds with the common sense of the Framing generation that understood so well the evils of religious tyranny.

The Establishment Clause: Co-Guarantor of Religious Freedom by Michael McConnell

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion is one of the most misunderstood in the Constitution. Unlike most of the Constitution, it refers to a legal arrangement, the establishment of religion, which has not existed in the United States in almost two centuries. We understand what freedom of speech is, we know what private property” is, and we know what searches and seizures are, but most of us have no familiarity with what an establishment of religion would be.

The Church by Law Established in Britain was a church under control of the government. The monarch was (and is) the supreme head of the established church and chooses its leadership; Parliament enacted its Articles of Faith; the state composed or directed the content of its prayers and liturgy; clergy had to take an oath of allegiance to the king or queen; and not surprisingly, the established church was used to inculcate the idea that British subjects had a religious as well as a civic obligation to obey royal authority. The established church was a bit like a government-controlled press: it was a means by which the government could mold public opinion.

British subjects (including Americans in eight of the colonies) were legally required to attend and financially support the established church, ministers were licensed or selected by the government, and the content of church services was partially dictated by the state.

The establishment of religion was bad for liberty and it was bad for religion, too. It was opposed by a coalition of the most fervently evangelical religious sects in America (especially the Baptists), who thought the hand of government was poisonous to genuine religion, joined by the enlightenment and often deist elite (like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin), who thought church and state should be separate, and by the leadership of minority religions, who worried that government involvement would disadvantage them. Accordingly, there was virtually no opposition to abolishing establishment of religion at the national level. Establishments survived for a while in a few states, but the last state (Massachusetts) ended its establishment in 1833.

The abolition of establishment of religion entails a number of obvious and uncontroversial elements. Individuals may not be required to contribute to, attend, or participate in religious activities. These must be voluntary. The government may not control the doctrine, liturgy, or personnel of religious organizations. These must be free of state control. Other issues are harder.

For a few decades between the late 1960s and the early 1990s, the Supreme Court attempted to forbid states to provide tax subsidies to schools that teach religious doctrine along with ordinary secular subjects. Most of these schools were Roman Catholic. This effort was largely based on a misinterpretation of history, egged on by residual anti-Catholicism. The Justices said that neutral aid to schools is just like a 1785 effort to force Virginians to contribute to the church of their choice. The analogy, however, made little sense: there is all the difference in the world between funding churches because they inculcate religion and funding schools because they provide education. In fact, the history of the early republic shows that states (and later the federal government, during Reconstruction) funded education by subsidizing all schools on a nondiscriminatory basis, and no one ever suggested this violated the non-establishment principle. By 2002, in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the Supreme Court returned to this original idea, allowing the government to fund schools on a neutral basis so long as the choice of religious schools was left to voluntary choice. Not only was ruling this true to history, it also best serves the ideal of religious freedom, making it possible for families to choose the type of education they want for their children.

It is sometimes suggested that laws making special accommodations for people whose religious beliefs are at odds with government policy violate the Establishment Clause, on the theory that these accommodations privilege or advance religion. This is a recently-minted idea, and not a sensible one. In all cases of accommodation, the religion involved is dissenting from prevailing policy, which means, by definition, that the religion is not dominating society. The idea that making exceptions for the benefit of people whose beliefs conflict with the majority somehow establishes religion is a plain distortion of the words. And the Supreme Court has unanimously held that religious accommodations are permissible so long as they lift a governmental obstacle to the exercise of religion, take account of costs to others, and do not favor one faith over another. Nonetheless, when religions take unpopular stances on hot-button issues (for example, regarding abortion-inducing contraceptives or same-sex marriage), critics are quick to assert that it violates the Constitution to accommodate their differences, no matter how little support that position has in history or Supreme Court precedent.

The fundamental error is to think that the Establishment Clause is designed to reduce the role of religion in American life. A better understanding is captured in this statement by Justice William O. Douglas of the Supreme Court: this country sponsor[s] an attitude on the part of government that shows no partiality to any one group and that lets each flourish according to the zeal of its adherents and the appeal of its dogma. Zorach v. Clauson (1952).

The Free Exercise Clause

Many settlers from Europe braved the hardships of immigration to the American colonies to escape religious persecution in their home countries and to secure the freedom to worship according to their own conscience and conviction. Although the colonists often understood freedom of religion more narrowly than we do today, support for protection of some conception of religious freedom was broad and deep. By the time of Independence and the construction of a new Constitution, freedom of religion was among the most widely recognized inalienable rights, protected in some fashion by state bills of rights and judicial decisions. James Madison, for example, the principal author of the First Amendment, eloquently expressed his support for such a provision in Virginia: It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.

Although the original Constitution contained only a prohibition of religious tests for federal office (Article VI, Clause 3), the Free Exercise Clause was added as part of the First Amendment in 1791. In drafting the Clause, Congress considered several formulations, but ultimately settled on protecting the free exercise of religion. This phrase makes plain the protection of actions as well as beliefs, but only those in some way connected to religion.

From the beginning, courts in the United States have struggled to find a balance between the religious liberty of believers, who often claim the right to be excused or exempted from laws that interfere with their religious practices, and the interests of society reflected in those very laws. Early state court decisions went both ways on this central question.

The Supreme Court first addressed the question in a series of cases involving nineteenth-century laws aimed at suppressing the practice of polygamy by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), also known as Mormons. The Court unanimously rejected free exercise challenges to these laws, holding that the Free Exercise Clause protects beliefs but not conduct. Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. Reynolds v. United States (1878). What followed was perhaps the most extreme government assault on religious freedom in American history. Hundreds of church leaders were jailed, rank-and-file Mormons were deprived of their right to vote, and Congress dissolved the LDS Church and expropriated most of its property, until the church finally agreed to abandon polygamy.

The belief-action distinction ignored the Free Exercise Clauses obvious protection of religious practice, but spoke to the concern that allowing believers to disobey laws that bind everyone else would undermine the value of a government of laws applied to all. Doing so, Reynolds warned, would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.

Reynolds influenced the meaning of the Free Exercise Clause well into the twentieth century. In 1940, for example, the Court extended the Clausewhich by its terms constrains only the federal governmentto limit state laws and other state actions that burden religious exercise. Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940). Though it recognized that governments may not unduly infringe religious exercise, the Court reiterated that [c]onduct remains subject to regulation for the protection of society, citing Reynolds as authority. Similarly, the Court held in 1961 that the Free Exercise Clause did not exempt an orthodox Jewish merchant from Sunday closing laws, again citing Reynolds.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Court shifted, strengthening protection for religious conduct by construing the Free Exercise Clause to protect a right of religious believers to exemption from generally applicable laws which burden religious exercise. The Court held that the government may not enforce even a religiously-neutral law that applies generally to all or most of society unless the public interest in enforcement is compelling. Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972). Yoder thus held that Amish families could not be punished for refusing to send their children to school beyond the age of 14.

Although the language of this compelling-interest test suggested powerful protections for religion, these were never fully realized. The cases in which the Supreme Court denied exemptions outnumbered those in which it granted them. Aside from Yoder, the Court exempted believers from availability for work requirements, which denied unemployment benefits to workers terminated for prioritizing religious practices over job requirements. But it denied exemptions to believers and religious organizations which found their religious practices burdened by conditions for federal tax exemption, military uniform regulations, federal minimum wage laws, state prison regulations, state sales taxes, federal administration of public lands, and mandatory taxation and other requirements of the Social Security system. In all of these cases the Court found, often controversially, either that the governments interest in enforcement was compelling, or that the law in question did not constitute a legally-recognizable burden on religious practice.

In 1990, the Supreme Court changed course yet again, holding that the Free Exercise Clause does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes). Employment Division v. Smith (1990). Though it did not return to the belief-action distinction, the Court echoed Reynolds concern that religious exemptions permit a person, by virtue of his beliefs, to become a law unto himself, contradicting both constitutional tradition and common sense. Any exceptions to religiously-neutral and generally-applicable laws, therefore, must come from the political process. Smith went on to hold that the Free Exercise Clause does not protect the sacramental use of peyote, a hallucinogenic drug, by members of the Native American Church.

Smith proved to be controversial. In 1993, overwhelming majorities in Congress voted to reinstate the pre-Smith compelling-interest test by statute with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA authorizes courts to exempt a person from any law that imposes a substantial burden on sincere religious beliefs or actions, unless the government can show that the law is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest. Almost half of the states have passed similar lawsstate RFRAsapplicable to their own laws. In 1997 the Supreme Court held that Congress had constitutional authority only to apply RFRA to federal laws, and not to state or local laws. Congress then enacted a narrower law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which applies the compelling-interest test to state laws affecting prisoners and land use. RFRA and RLUIPA have afforded exemptions in a wide range of federal and state contextsfrom kosher and halal diets for prisoners, to relief from zoning and landmark regulations on churches and ministries, to exemptions from jury service.

Although some exemption claims brought under these religious freedom statutes have been relatively uncontroversialthe Supreme Court unanimously protected the right of a tiny religious sect to use a hallucinogenic drug prohibited by federal law and the right of a Muslim prisoner to wear a half-inch beard prohibited by state prison rulessome touch on highly contested moral questions. For example, the Court by a 5-4 vote excused a commercial family-owned corporation from complying with the contraception mandate, a regulation which required the corporations health insurance plan to cover what its owners believe are abortion-inducing drugs. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (2014). In the wake of Hobby Lobby and the Courts subsequent determination that states may not deny gays and lesbians the right to civil marriage, state RFRAs have become a flashpoint in conflicts over whether commercial vendors with religious objections may refuse their products and services to same-sex weddings.

Besides RFRA and other exemption statutes, the Free Exercise Clause itself, even after Smith, continues to provide protection for believers against burdens on religious exercise from laws that target religious practices, or that disadvantage religion in discretionary, case-by-case decision making. In Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah (1993), for example, the Court unanimously struck down a local ordinance against the unnecessary killing of animals in a ritual or ceremonya law that was drawn to apply only to a small and unpopular religious sect whose worship includes animal sacrifice.

The Court recently recognized that the Free Exercise Clause (along with the Establishment Clause) required a religious exemption from a neutral and general federal antidiscrimination law that interfered with a churchs freedom to select its own ministers. The Court distinguished Smith on the ground that it involved government regulation of only outward physical acts, while this case concerns government interference with an internal church decision that affects the faith and mission of the church itself. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. E.E.O.C. (2012).

It remains unclear whether Lukumi and Hosanna-Tabor are narrow exceptions to Smiths general presumption against religious exemptions, or foreshadow yet another shift towards a more exemption-friendly free exercise doctrine.

At the time the United States adopted the First Amendment to the Constitution, other nations routinely imposed disabilities on religious minorities within their borders, depriving them of legal rights, making it difficult or impossible to practice their faith, and often enabling violent persecution.

One of this nations deepest commitments is to the full, equal, and free exercise of religion a right that protects not only believers, but unbelievers as well.

Religious Liberty Is Equal Liberty by Frederick Gedicks

At the time the United States adopted the First Amendment to the Constitution, other nations routinely imposed disabilities on religious minorities within their borders, depriving them of legal rights, making it difficult or impossible to practice their faith, and often enabling violent persecution. The Free Exercise Clause was thus an exceptional political achievement, imposing a constitutional norm of civic equality by prohibiting the federal government from interfering with all religious exerciseregardless of affiliation.

Only a few years before the First Amendment was ratified, James Madison wrote that all people naturally retain equal title to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of conscience without the governments subjecting some to peculiar burdens or granting to others peculiar exemptions. A Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments (1785). As Madison suggested, at the time the Constitution and Bill of Rights were ratified, the guarantee of religious free exercise was understood to protect against government discrimination or abuse on the basis of religion, but not to require favorable government treatment of believers. In particular, there is little evidence that the Founders understood the Free Exercise Clause to mandate religious exemptions that would excuse believers from complying with neutral and general laws that constrain the rest of society.

The Supreme Court has historically left the question of religious exemptions to Congress and the state legislatures. The first judicially-ordered exemptions arose in the 1960s and early 1970s, when the Supreme Court held the Free Exercise Clause required religious exemptions for Amish families who objected to sending their children to high school, and for employees who were denied unemployment benefits when they lost their jobs for refusing to work on their Sabbath. This doctrine of judicially-ordered exemptions, however, was an historical aberration. In Employment Division v. Smith (1990), the Court considered a claim by members of a Native American religion who lost their jobs as drug counselors for using an illegal drug in a religious ritual. The Court abandoned its new doctrine of religious exemptions, ruling that the Free Exercise Clause did not grant believers a right to exemptions from religiously neutral, generally applicable laws, though legislatures were free to grant such exemptions if they wished. This relegation of exemptions to the political process in most circumstances returned the Free Exercise Clause to its historical baseline. Notwithstanding the narrow ministerial exception recognized in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church & School v. EEOC (2012), the Court has repeatedly affirmed Smith and the century of precedent cited in that case, and has shown no inclination to overturn its basic principle that neutral and general laws should apply equally to all, regardless of religious belief or unbelief.

The growth of social welfare entitlements and religious diversity in the United States has underscored the wisdom of the Smith rule. Exempting believers from social welfare laws may give them a competitive advantage, and also may harm those whom the law was designed to protect or benefit.

For example, the Court refused to exempt an Amish employer from paying Social Security taxes for his employees, reasoning that doing so would impose the employers religious faith on the employees by reducing their social security benefits regardless of whether they shared their employers religious objection to government entitlement programs. United States v. Lee (1982). Similarly, the Court refused to exempt a religious employer from federal minimum wage laws, because doing so would give the employer an advantage over competitors and depress the wages of all employees in local labor markets. Tony & Susan Alamo Foundation v. Secretary of Labor (1985).

Read the full discussion here.

The Court seems poised to adopt this third-party burden principle in decisions interpreting the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as well. Five Justices in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (2014), expressly stated that RFRA exemptions imposing significant costs on others are not allowed. The majority opinion likewise acknowledged that courts must take adequate account of third-party burdens before ordering a RFRA exemption.

The growth of religious diversity makes a religious exemption regime doubly impractical. The vast range of religious beliefs and practices in the United States means that there is a potential religious objector to almost any law the government might enact. If religious objectors were presumptively entitled to exemption from any burdensome law, religious exemptions would threaten to swallow the rule of law, which presupposes its equal application to everyone. As the Court observed in Lee, a religiously diverse social welfare state cannot shield every person . . . from all the burdens incident to exercising every aspect of the right to practice religious beliefs.

Even under the equal-liberty regime contemplated by the Founders and restored by Smith, government remains subject to important constraints that protect religious liberty. Religious gerrymanders, or laws that single out particular religions for burdens not imposed on other religions or on comparable secular conduct, must satisfy strict scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause. Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah (1993); Sherbert v. Verner (1963). Under RFRA and the related Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA), the federal government and often the state governments are prohibited from burdening religious exercise without adequate justification. Holt v. Hobbs (2015); Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal (2005). And, like judicially-ordered exemptions, legislative exemptions that impose material costs on others in order to protect believers free exercise interests may be invalid under the Establishment Clause, which protects believers and unbelievers alike from bearing the burdens of practicing someone elses religion. Estate of Thornton v. Caldor (1985).

If exemptions are to be afforded to those whose religious practices are burdened by neutral and general laws, they should generally not be granted by courts, but by the politically accountable branches of the federal and state governments. These branches are better situated to weigh and balance the competing interests of believers and others in a complex and religiously-diverse society.

Free Exercise: A Vital Protection for Diversity and Freedom by Michael McConnell

One of this nations deepest commitments is to the full, equal, and free exercise of religion a right that protects not only believers, but unbelievers as well. The government cannot use its authority to forbid Americans to conduct their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs or to require them to engage in actions contrary to religious conscience even when the vast majority of their countrymen regard those beliefs as backward, mistaken, or even immoral.

Unfortunately, in the last few years and especially since the Supreme Courts decision requiring states to recognize same-sex marriage this consensus in favor of tolerance has been slipping. All too often, we hear demands that religious people and religious institutions such as colleges or adoption agencies must join the state in recognizing same-sex marriages (or performing abortions or supplying contraceptives, or whatever the issues happen to be), or lose their right to operate.

That has not been the American way. When this country severed its ties with the British Empire, one thing that went with it was the established church. To an unprecedented degree, the young United States not only tolerated but actively welcomed people of all faiths. For example, despite his annoyance with the Quakers for their refusal to support the revolutionary war effort, Washington wrote to a Quaker Society to express his wish and desire, that the laws may always be as extensively accommodated to them, as a due regard for the protection and essential interests of the nation may justify and permit. Letter to the Annual Meeting of Quakers (1789).

What would it mean to have a regime of free exercise of religion? No one knew; there had been no such thing before. It quickly became clear that it was not enough just to cease persecution or discrimination against religious minorities. Just two years after the ink was dry on the First Amendment, the leader of the Jewish community in Philadelphia went to court and asked, under authority of his states free exercise clause, to be excused from complying with a subpoena to appear in court on his day of sabbath. He did not ask that the state cease to do official business on Saturday, but he did ask the court to make an exception an accommodation that would enable him to be faithful to the Jewish law.

This would become the central interpretive question under the Free Exercise Clause: Does it give Americans whose religions conflict with government practices the right to ask for special accommodation, assuming an accommodation can be made without great harm to the public interest or the rights of others?

Read the full discussion here.

In the early years, some religious claimants won and some lost. The Mormon Church lost in a big way, in the first such case to reach the United States Supreme Court. Reynolds v. United States (1878). In 1963, the Supreme Court held that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment does require the government to make accommodations for religious exercise, subject as always to limitations based on the public interest and the rights of others. Sherbert v. Verner (1963). In 1990, the Court shifted to the opposite view, in a case involving the sacramental use of peyote by members of the Native American Church. Employment Division v. Smith (1990).

Today we have a patchwork of rules. When the federal government is involved, legislation called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act grants us the right to seek appropriate accommodation when our religious practices conflict with government policy. About half the states have similar rules, and a similar rule protects prisoners like the Muslim prisoner who recently won the right to wear a half-inch beard in accordance with Islamic law, by a 9-0 vote in the Supreme Court. Holt v. Hobbs (2015).

The range of claims has been as diverse as the religious demography of the country. A small Brazilian sect won the right to use a hallucinogenic drug in worship ceremonies; Amish farmers have won exceptions from traffic rules; Muslim soldiers have been given special accommodation when fasting for Ramadan; Orthodox Jewish boys won the right to wear their skullcaps when playing high school basketball; a Jehovahs Witness won the right to unemployment compensation after he quit rather than working to produce tank turrets; a Mormon acting student won the right to refuse roles involving nudity or profanity; and in the most controversial recent case, a family-owned business with religious objections to paying for abortion-inducing drugs persuaded the Supreme Court that the government should make those contraceptives available without forcing them to be involved.

In all these cases, courts or agencies came to the conclusion that religious exercise could be accommodated with little or no harm to the public interest or to others. As Justice Sandra Day OConnor (joined by liberal lions Brennan, Marshall, and Blackmun) wrote: courts have been quite capable of applying our free exercise jurisprudence to strike sensible balances between religious liberty and competing state interests. Employment Division v. Smith (1989) (concurring opinion).

At a time when the Supreme Courts same-sex marriage decision has allowed many millions of Americans to live their lives in accordance with their own identity, it would be tragic if we turned our backs on the right to live in accordance with our religious conviction, which is also part of who we are. A robust protection for free exercise of religion is not only part of the American tradition, it is vital to our protection for diversity and freedom.

Freedom of Speech and the Press

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. What does this mean today? Generally speaking, it means that the government may not jail, fine, or impose civil liability on people or organizations based on what they say or write, except in exceptional circumstances.

Although the First Amendment says Congress, the Supreme Court has held that speakers are protected against all government agencies and officials: federal, state, and local, and legislative, executive, or judicial. The First Amendment does not protect speakers, however, against private individuals or organizations, such as private employers, private colleges, or private landowners. The First Amendment restrains only the government.

The Supreme Court has interpreted speech and press broadly as covering not only talking, writing, and printing, but also broadcasting, using the Internet, and other forms of expression. The freedom of speech also applies to symbolic expression, such as displaying flags, burning flags, wearing armbands, burning crosses, and the like.

The Supreme Court has held that restrictions on speech because of its contentthat is, when the government targets the speakers messagegenerally violate the First Amendment. Laws that prohibit people from criticizing a war, opposing abortion, or advocating high taxes are examples of unconstitutional content-based restrictions. Such laws are thought to be especially problematic because they distort public debate and contradict a basic principle of self-governance: that the government cannot be trusted to decide what ideas or information the people should be allowed to hear.

There are generally three situations in which the government can constitutionally restrict speech under a less demanding standard.

The rest is here:
First Amendment – National Constitution Center

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Origins of Eugenics: From Sir Francis Galton to Virginias …

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Oct 232015
 

Sir Francis Galton. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society. [2.1]

ENLARGE [2.2] Faces and Races, illustration from a eugenical text, Racial History of Mankind. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pickler Memorial Library, Truman State University.

[2.3] Harry H. Laughlin and Charles Davenport at the Eugenics Record Office. Courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives.

Sir Francis Galton first coined the term eugenics in 1883. Put simply, eugenics means well-born. Initially Galton focused on positive eugenics, encouraging healthy, capable people of above-average intelligence to bear more children, with the idea of building an improved human race. Some followers of Galton combined his emphasis on ancestral traits with Gregor Mendels research on patterns of inheritance, in an attempt to explain the generational transmission of genetic traits in human beings.

Negative eugenics, as developed in the United States and Germany, played on fears of race degeneration. At a time when the working-class poor were reproducing at a greater rate than successful middle- and upper-class members of society, these ideas garnered considerable interest. One of the most famous proponents in the United States was President Theodore Roosevelt, who warned that the failure of couples of Anglo-Saxon heritage to produce large families would lead to race suicide.

The center of the eugenics movement in the United States was the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Biologist Charles Davenport established the ERO, and was joined in his work by Director Harry H. Laughlin. Both men were members of the American Breeders Association. Their view of eugenics, as applied to human populations, drew from the agricultural model of breeding the strongest and most capable members of a species while making certain that the weakest members do not reproduce.

Eugenicists attempted to demonstrate the power of heredity by constructing pedigree charts of defective families. These charts were used to scientifically quantify the assertion that human frailties such as profligacy and indolence were genetic components that could be passed from one generation to the next. Two studies were published that charted the propensity towards criminality, disease, and immoral behavior of the extended families of the Jukes and the Kallikaks. Eugenicists pointed to these texts to demonstrate that feeblemindedness was an inherited attribute and to reveal how the care of such degenerates represented an enormous cost to society.

The ERO promoted eugenics research by compiling records or pedigrees of thousands of families. Charles Davenport created The Family History Book, which assisted field workers as they interviewed families and assembled pedigrees specifying inheritable family attributes which might range from allergies to civic leadership. Even a propensity for carpentry or dress-making was considered a genetically inherited trait. Davenport and Laughlin also issued another manual titled How to Make a Eugenical Family Study to instruct field workers in the creation of pedigree charts of study subjects from poor, rural areas or from institutionalized settings. Field workers used symbols to depict defective conditions such as epilepsy and sexual immorality.

The American Eugenics Society presented eugenics exhibits at state fairs throughout the country, and provided information encouraging high-grade people to reproduce at a greater rate for the benefit of society. The Society even sponsored Fitter Family contests.

ENLARGE [2.4] Kallikak family of New Jersey Normal and Degenerate Lines (enlarge to view additional eugenical pedigree charts). Courtesy of Paul Lombardo.

ENLARGE [2.5] Eugenics Display. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society.

[2.6] Winners of Fittest Family Contest. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society.

[2.7] Harry H. Laughlin photograph. Courtesy of American Philosophical Society.

ENLARGE [2.8] Comparative Intelligence Chart. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society.

ENLARGE [2.9] Virginias Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (enlarge to view additional Virginia legislative acts). Courtesy of Special Collections, Pickler Memorial Library, Truman State University.

In 1914, Harry H. Laughlin attended the first Race Betterment Conference, sponsored by J. H. Kellogg. The same year, in his Model Sterilization Law, Laughlin declared that the socially inadequate of society should be sterilized. This Model Law was accompanied by pedigree charts, which were used to demonstrate the hereditary nature of traits such as alcoholism, illegitimacy, and feeblemindedness. Laughlin asserted that passage of these undesirable traits to future generations would be eradicated if the unfortunate people who possessed them could be prevented from reproducing. In 1922 Laughlins Model Law was included in the book Eugenical Sterilization in the United States. This book compiled legal materials and statistics regarding sterilization, and was a valuable reference for sterilization activists in states throughout the country.

Proponents of eugenics worked tirelessly to assert the legitimacy of this new discipline. For Americans who feared the potential degradation of their race and culture, eugenics offered a convenient and scientifically plausible response to those fears. Sterilization of the unfit seemed a cost-effective means of strengthening and improving American society.

By 1924 Laughlins influence extended in several directions. He testified before Congress in support of the Immigration Restriction Act to limit immigration from eastern and southern Europe. Laughlin influenced passage of this law by presenting skewed data to support his assertion that the percentage of these immigrant populations in prisons and mental institutions was far greater than their percentage in the general population would warrant.

Laughlin also provided guidance in support of Virginias Racial Integrity Act, which made it illegal for whites in Virginia to marry outside their race. The act narrowly defined who could claim to be a member of the white race stating that the term white person shall apply only to such person as has no trace whatever of any blood other than Caucasian. Virginia lawmakers were careful to leave an escape clause for colleagues who claimed descent from Pocahontasthose with 1/16 or less of the blood of the American Indian would also count as white.

The language of Laughlins Model Sterilization Act was used in Virginias Eugenical Sterilization Act to legalize compulsory sterilizations in the state. This legislation to rid Virginia of defective persons was drafted by Aubrey E. Strode, a former member of the Virginia General Assembly, at the request of longtime associate, Albert Priddy, who directed the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and Feebleminded in Lynchburg, Virginia.

2004 Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

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Origins of Eugenics: From Sir Francis Galton to Virginias …

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Oct 222015
 

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Illinois, 439 U.S. 128, 99 S. Ct. 421, 58 L. Ed. 2d 387 (1978) Rawlings v. Kentucky, 448 U.S. 98, 100 S. Ct. 2556, 65 L. Ed. 2d 633 (1980) Reid v. Georgia, 448 U.S. 438, 100 S. Ct. 2752, 65 L. Ed. 2d 890 (1980) Richards v. Wisconsin, 520 U.S. 385, 117 S. Ct. 1416, 137 L. Ed. 2d 615 (1997) Robbins v. California, 453 U.S. 420, 101 S. Ct. 2841, 69 L. Ed. 2d 744 (1981) Rochin v. California, 342 U.S. 165, 72 S. Ct. 205, 96 L. Ed. 2d 183 (1952) Ryburn v. Huff, 132 S.Ct. 987, 181 L.Ed.2d 966 (2012) Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding, 557 U.S. 364, 129 S. Ct. 2633, 174 L. Ed. 2d 354 (2009) Samson v. California, 547 U.S. 843, 126 S. Ct. 2193, 165 L. Ed. 2d 250 (2006) Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, 548 U.S. 331, 126 S. Ct. 2669, 165 L. Ed. 2d 557 (2006) Sacramento County v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833, 118 S. Ct. 1708, 140 L. Ed. 2d 1043 (1988) Saucier v. Katz, 531 U.S. 991, 121 S. Ct. 2151, 150 L. Ed. 2d 272 (2001) Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 86 S. Ct. 1826, 16 L. Ed. 2d 908 (1966) Schneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S. 218, 93 S. Ct. 2041, 36 L. Ed. 2d 854 (1973) Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 127 S. Ct. 1769, 167 L. Ed. 2d 686 (2007) Scott v. United States, 436 U.S. 128, 98 S. Ct. 1717, 56 L. Ed. 2d 168 (1978) See v. Seattle, 387 U.S. 541, 87 S. Ct. 1737, 18 L. Ed. 2d 943 (1967) Segura v. United States, 468 U.S. 796, 104 S. Ct. 3380, 82 L. Ed. 2d 599 (1984) Seymane’s Case, 5 Co. Rep. 91a, 77 Eng. Rep. 194, 195 (K. B. 1603) Sgro v. United States, 287 U.S. 206, 53 S. Ct. 138, 77 L. Ed. 260 (1932) Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 81 S. Ct. 679, 5 L. Ed. 2d 734 (1961) Simmons v. United States, 390 U.S. 377, 88 S. Ct. 967, 19 L. Ed. 2d 1247 (1968) Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives Association, 489 U.S. 602, 109 S. Ct. 1402, 103 L. Ed. 2d 639 (1989) Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735, 99 S. Ct. 2577, 61 L. Ed. 2d 220 (1979) Soldal v. Cook County, 506 U.S. 56, 113 S. Ct. 538, 121 L. Ed. 2d 450 (1993) South Dakota v. Opperman, 428 U.S. 364, 96 S. Ct. 3092, 49 L. Ed. 2d 1000 (1976) Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 89 S. Ct. 584, 21 L. Ed. 2d 637 (1969) Stanford v. Texas, 379 U.S. 476, 85 S. Ct. 506, 13 L. Ed. 2d 431 (1965) Stanton v. Sims, 134 S.Ct. 3, 187 L. Ed. 2d 341 (2013) Steagald v. United States, 451 U.S. 204, 101 S. Ct. 1642, 68 L. Ed. 2d 38 (1981) Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 96 S. Ct. 3037, 49 L. Ed. 2d 1067 (1976) Stoner v. California, 376 U.S. 483, 84 S. Ct. 889, 11 L. Ed. 2d 856 (1964) Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S. Ct. 2052, 80 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1984) Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889 (1968) Texas v. Brown, 460 U.S. 730, 103 S. Ct. 1535, 75 L. Ed. 2d 502 (1983) Thornton v. United States, 541 U.S. 615, 124 S. Ct. 2127, 158 L. Ed. 2d 905 (2004) Torres v. Puerto Rico, 442 U.S. 465, 99 S. Ct. 2425, 61 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1979) United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 122 S. Ct. 744, 151 L. Ed. 2d 740 (2002) United States v. Banks, 540 U.S. 31, 124 S. Ct. 521, 157 L. Ed.2d 343 (2003) United States v. Bisceglia, 420 U.S. 141, 95 S.Ct. 915, 43 L.Ed.2d 88 (1975) United States v. Biswell, 406 U.S. 311, 92 S. Ct. 1593, 32 L. Ed. 2d 87 (1972) United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 45 L. Ed. 2d 607, 95 S. Ct. 2574 (1975) United States v. Caceres, 440 U.S. 741, 99 S. Ct. 1465, 59 L. Ed. 2d 733 (1979) United States v. Calandra, 414 U.S. 338, 94 S. Ct. 613, 38 L. Ed. 2d 561 (1974) United States v. Ceccolini, 435 U.S. 268, 98 S. Ct. 1054, 55 L. Ed. 2d 268 (1978) United States v. Chadwick, 433 U.S. 1, 97 S. Ct. 2476, 53 L. Ed. 2d 538 (1977) United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 101 S. Ct. 690, 66 L. Ed. 2d 621 (1981) United States v. Crews, 445 U.S. 463, 100 S. Ct. 1244, 63 L. Ed. 2d 537 (1980) United States v. Di Re, 332 U.S. 581, 68 S. Ct. 222, 92 L. Ed. 2d 20 (1948) United States v. Dionisio, 410 U.S. 1, 93 S. Ct. 764, 35 L. Ed. 2d 67 (1973) United States v. Drayton, 536 U.S. 194, 122 S. Ct. 2105, 153 L. Ed. 2d 242 (2002) United States v. Dunn, 480 U.S. 294, 107 S. Ct. 1134, 94 L. Ed. 2d 326 (1987) United States v. Edwards, 415 U.S. 800, 94 S. Ct. 1234, 39 L. Ed. 2d 771 (1974) United States v. Flores-Montano, 541 U.S. 149, 124 S. Ct. 1582, 158 L. Ed. 2d 311 (2004) United States v. Grubbs, 547 U.S. 90, 126 S. Ct. 1494, 164 L. Ed. 2d 195 (2006) United States v. Hensley, 469 U.S. 221, 105 S.Ct. 675, 83 L.Ed.2d 604 (1985) United States v. Jacobsen, 466 U.S. 109, 104 S. Ct. 1652, 80 L. Ed. 2d 85 (1984) United States v. James Daniel Good Real Property, 510 U.S. 43, 114 S. Ct. 492, 126 L. Ed. 2d 490 (1994) United States v. Janis, 428 U.S. 433, 96 S. Ct. 3021, 49 L. Ed. 2d 1046 (1976) United States v. Jeffers, 342 U.S. 48, 72 S. Ct. 93, 96 L. Ed. 2d 59 (1951) United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945, 181 L. Ed. 2d 911 (2012) United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705, 104 S. Ct. 3296, 82 L. Ed. 2d 530 (1984) United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112, 122 S. Ct. 587, 151 L. Ed. 2d 497 (2001) United States v. Knotts, 460 U.S. 276, 103 S. Ct. 1081, 75 L. Ed. 2d 55 (1983) United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 104 S. Ct. 3405, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677 (1984) United States v. Mara, 410 U.S. 19, 93 S. Ct. 774, 35 L. Ed. 2d 99 (1973) United States v. Martinez-Fuarte, 428 U.S. 543, 96 S. Ct. 3074, 49 L. Ed. 2d 1116 (1976) United States v. Matlock, 415 U.S. 164, 94 S. Ct. 988, 39 L. Ed. 2d 242 (1974) United States v. Mendenhall, 446 U.S. 544, 100 S. Ct. 1870, 64 L. Ed. 2d 497 (1980) United States v. Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. 531, 105 S.Ct. 3304, 87 L.Ed.2d 381 (1985) United States v. New York Telephone Co., 434 U.S. 159, 98 S.Ct. 364, 54 L.Ed.2d 376 (1977) United States v. Padilla, 508 U.S. 77, 113 S.Ct. 1936, 123 L.Ed.2d 635 (1993) United States v. Place, 462 U.S. 696, 103 S. Ct. 2637, 77 L. Ed. 2d 110 (1983) United States v. Powell, 379 U.S. 48, 85 S. Ct. 248, 13 L. Ed.2d 112 (1964) United States v. Ramirez, 523 U.S. 65, 118 S. Ct. 992, 140 L. 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Ed. 2d 976 (1995) Wilson v. Layne, 526 U.S. 603, 119 S. Ct. 1692, 143 L. Ed. 2d 818 (1999) Winston v. Lee, 470 U.S. 753, 104 S. Ct. 2501, 81 L. Ed. 2d 377 (1984) Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 83 S. Ct. 407, 9 L. Ed. 2d 441 (1963) Wyoming v. Houghton, 526 U.S. 295, 119 S. Ct. 1297, 143 L. Ed. 2d 408 (1999) Ybarra v. Illinois, 444 U.S. 85, 100 S. Ct. 338, 62 L. Ed. 2d 238 (1979) Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 91 S. Ct. 746, 27 L. Ed. 2d 669 (1971) Zurcher v. Stanford Daily, 436 U.S. 547, 56 L. Ed. 2d 525, 98 S. Ct. 1970 (1978)

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by John Wesley Hall Criminal Defense Lawyer and Fourth Amendment consultant Little Rock, Arkansas Contact / The Book Search and seizure law consulting http://www.johnwesleyhall.com

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Fourth Amendment cases, citations, and links

Latest Slip Opinions: U.S. Supreme Court (Home) Federal Appellate Courts Opinions First Circuit Second Circuit Third Circuit Fourth Circuit Fifth Circuit Sixth Circuit Seventh Circuit Eighth Circuit Ninth Circuit Tenth Circuit Eleventh Circuit D.C. Circuit FDsys: Many district courts FDsys: Many federal courts FDsys: Other Military Courts: C.A.A.F., Army, AF, N-M, CG State courts (and some USDC opinions)

Google Scholar Advanced Google Scholar Google search tips LexisWeb LII State Appellate Courts LexisONE free caselaw Findlaw Free Opinions To search Search and Seizure on Lexis.com $

Most recent SCOTUS cases: 2009 to date:

2013-14 Term: Riley v. California, granted Jan.17, argued Apr. 29 (ScotusBlog) United States v. Wurie, granted Jan.17, argued Apr. 29 (ScotusBlog) Plumhoff v. Rickard, granted Nov. 15, argued Mar. 4 (ScotusBlog) Stanton v. Sims, 134 S.Ct. 3, 187 L. Ed. 2d 341 (Nov. 4, 2013) (per curiam) Navarette v. California, granted Oct.1, argued Jan. 21 (ScotusBlog) Fernandez v. California, 134 S.Ct. 1126, 188 L. Ed. 2d 25 (Feb. 25) (ScotusBlog)

2012-13 Term: Maryland v. King, 133 S.Ct. 1958, 186 L.Ed.2d 1 (2013) (ScotusBlog) Missouri v. McNeeley, 133 S.Ct. 1552, 185 L.Ed.2d 696 (2013) (ScotusBlog) Bailey v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 1031, 185 L.Ed.2d 19 (2013) (ScotusBlog) Florida v. Harris, 133 S.Ct. 1050, 185 L.Ed.2d 61 (2013) (ScotusBlog) Florida v. Jardines, 133 S.Ct. 1409, 185 L.Ed.2d 495 (2013) (ScotusBlog) Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, 133 S.Ct. 1138, 185 L.Ed.2d 264 (2013) (ScotusBlog)

2011-12 Term: Ryburn v. Huff, 132 S.Ct. 987, 181 L.Ed.2d 966 (2012) (other blog) Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, 132 S.Ct. 1510, 182 L.Ed.2d 566 (2012) (ScotusBlog) United States v. Jones, 132 S.Ct. 945, 181 L.Ed.2d 911 (2012) (ScotusBlog) Messerschmidt v. Millender, 132 S.Ct. 1235, 182 L.Ed.2d 47 (2012) (ScotusBlog)

2010-11 Term: Kentucky v. King, 131 S.Ct. 1849, 179 L.Ed.2d 865 (2011) (ScotusBlog) Camreta v. Greene, 131 S.Ct. 2020, 179 L.Ed.2d 1118 (2011) (ScotusBlog) Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 131 S.Ct. 2074, 179 L.Ed.2d 1149 (2011) (ScotusBlog) Davis v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 2419, 180 L.Ed.2d 285 (2011) (ScotusBlog)

2009-10 Term: Michigan v. Fisher, 558 U.S. 45, 130 S.Ct. 546, 175 L.Ed.2d 410 (2009) (per curiam) (ScotusBlog) City of Ontario v. Quon, 560 U.S. 746, 130 S.Ct. 2619, 177 L.Ed.2d 216 (2010) (ScotusBlog)

2008-09 Term: Herring v. United States, 555 U.S. 135, 129 S.Ct. 695, 172 L.Ed.2d 496 (2009) (ScotusBlog) Pearson v. Callahan, 555 U.S. 223, 129 S.Ct. 808, 172 L.Ed.2d 565 (2009) (ScotusBlog) Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323, 129 S.Ct. 781, 172 L.Ed.2d 694 (2009) (ScotusBlog) Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332, 129 S.Ct. 1710, 173 L.Ed.2d 485 (2009) (ScotusBlog) Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding, 557 U.S. 364, 129 S.Ct. 2633, 174 L.Ed.2d 354 (2009) (ScotusBlog)

Research Links: Supreme Court: SCOTUSBlog S. Ct. Docket Solicitor General’s site SCOTUSreport Briefs online (but no amicus briefs) Curiae (Yale Law) Oyez Project (NWU) “On the Docket”Medill S.Ct. Monitor: Law.com S.Ct. Com’t’ry: Law.com

General (many free): LexisWeb Google Scholar | Google LexisOne Legal Website Directory Crimelynx Lexis.com $ Lexis.com (criminal law/ 4th Amd) $ Findlaw.com Findlaw.com (4th Amd) Westlaw.com $ F.R.Crim.P. 41 http://www.fd.org FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (2008) (pdf) DEA Agents Manual (2002) (download) DOJ Computer Search Manual (2009) (pdf)

Congressional Research Service: Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (2012) Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping (2012) Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (2012) ACLU on privacy Privacy Foundation Electronic Privacy Information Center Criminal Appeal (post-conviction) (9th Cir.) Section 1983 Blog

“If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn’t, and they don’t.” Me

“Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government.” Shemaya, in the Thalmud

“A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect results, especially if one’s attention is confined to the particular case at bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced.” Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev’d Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).

“The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence.” Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).

Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment. Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).

“There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater than it is today.” Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).

“The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property.” Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)

“It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth Amendment.” United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)

“The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated here, has notto put it mildlyrun smooth.” Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).

“A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the bottom of a turntable.” Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)

“For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. … But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.” Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)

Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the Governments purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)

Libertythe freedom from unwarranted intrusion by governmentis as easily lost through insistent nibbles by government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark. United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)

“You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need.” Mick Jagger & Keith Richards

“In Germany, they first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic. Then they came for meand by that time there was nobody left to speak up.” Martin Niemller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]

You know, most men would get discouraged by now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men! Pep Le Pew

“There is never enough time, unless you are serving it.” Malcolm Forbes

“The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime.” Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)

Read more here:
Fourth Amendment.com

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The best islands in Southeast Asia

 Islands  Comments Off on The best islands in Southeast Asia
Oct 182015
 

Coral and Raya Islands Off Phuket’s southern coast lie a number of small islands whose pristine shores lure scuba divers and beach bums away from the mainland. Most of these isolated islands are undeveloped, but the notable exceptions are Coral Island and Ko Raya (also known as Ko Racha) which have accommodation options and restaurants. Both islands have safe swimming, reefs teeming with aquatic life, and a sense of getting away from it all that’s harder and harder to come by in Phuket proper. Coral Island is read more about Coral and Raya Islands

Ko Adang Far out in the Andaman Sea, the formidable mountains of Ko Adang rise over Ko Lipe like a protective uncle. The two islands are so close together that if arriving to Lipe at Pattaya Beach, you may very well assume that Adang’s lushly forested southern eminence is part of Lipe’s interior. In fact, the two neighbours could hardly be more different. While both islands are technically part of Tarutao National Park, development and mass tourism have taken a firm hold on Lipe. In contrast, Adang read more about Ko Adang

Ko Bulon Lae Kicking a football in the sea breeze, school kids laugh on their beachside field. Local sea gypsies smile at backpackers and families who lounge outside their simple bungalows. Flowers and butterflies abound. Away from the over-development and other problems found on more popular Thai islands, Ko Bulon Lae quietly preserves its rural tranquility. If that sounds wonderful, well, it truly is. But it takes a special sort of person to appreciate this one-of-a-kind island in the Andaman Sea. read more about Ko Bulon Lae

Ko Chang Sometimes called the Beast of the East thanks to its sheer mass and location in the eastern Gulf of Thailand near Cambodia, Ko Chang might just be the quintessential Thai island destination. From breathtaking mountains to idyllic beaches, hippy hangouts to salubrious resorts, and traditional fishing villages to neon nightlife, Elephant Island truly has something for everyone. Some say that Ko Chang’s name derives from its shape on a map that somewhat resembles the head of an elephant. read more about Ko Chang

Ko Chang Noi Not to be confused with the far bigger and better known Ko Chang of Trat province in the Gulf of Thailand, little Ko Chang or, as we have always known it, Ko Chang Noi is a formidable destination in its own right. One of Thailand’s quietest, most relaxed, and undeveloped islands, Ko Chang Noi makes up for its lack of sparkle with an artsy, laid back atmosphere you’ll find nowhere else. Don’t expect luxury resorts and bus loads of short-term holiday makers but rather rustic read more about Ko Chang Noi

Ko Jum The little-known Andaman island of Ko Jum (aka Ko Pu) strikes an ideal balance of great beaches, thin crowds and ultra-relaxing atmosphere. With mass tourism having been left to neighbouring Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta, Jum’s Muslim residents have happily preserved their traditional lifestyle. So enchanting is Ko Jum that we’ll go out on a limb to call it one of our favourite Thai islands. Colourful fishing hamlets dot the east coast, where longtail boats bob amid the seaside villages and read more about Ko Jum

Ko Kham An idealic little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it island barely a kilometre from Ko Maak, Ko Kham was once the perfect spot to really get away from it all. Crystal-clear waters and a number of coral reefs made the island popular with the snorkelling crowd and many boat outings from Ko Chang stopped here for an hour or two to have a look into the not-so-deep. A series of black volcanic rocks jut out of the snow-white sand on the island’s eastern beach, and for those on the island they made for read more about Ko Kham

Ko Kho Khao Just a ten minute boat ride from the Takua Pa area of Phang Nga province, Ko Kho Khao (pronounced kaw koe cow) doesnt look very different from the mainland. However, for those seeking a family beach destination thats not as remote as nearby Ko Phra Thong but not as busy as Khao Lak or Phuket, Kho Khao is worth a visit. The islands long golden beaches are the main draw, and aesthetically these are similar to the beaches of the Khao Lak area further south. The waters are slightly murky read more about Ko Kho Khao

Ko Kradan A thin slip of an island off the coast of Trang province, Ko Kradan boasts a gorgeous white-sand beach stretching between fluffy green hills and the cerulean blue Andaman Sea. Also home to some good snorkelling and low-tide sandbars that make for the beach walk of a lifetime, Kradan is among Thailand’s more visually spectacular islands. With some advanced planning, anyone from solo gap-year backpackers to groups of old friends to honeymooning couples and flashpacking families can enjoy a read more about Ko Kradan

Ko Kut We’re going to go out on a limb and declare Ko Kut (also spelt Ko Kood) to be the most beautiful island we’ve seen in Thailand over two decades of travel to the kingdom. There. We said it. It really is just drop dead gorgeous. And we strongly recommend you add it to your itinerary the next time you holiday in Thailand. Set to the south of better known Ko Chang and Ko Maak, Ko Kut is a large, mountainous island whose interior remains largely jungle covered and whose western and southern read more about Ko Kut

Ko Lanta Lanta. The word alone conjures daydreams of lazing in a hammock, soothed by tepid waves and refreshed by the juice of coconuts that collect on the sand. The exact meaning is unknown, but the island’s old Malay name of Pulao Satak translates as Long Beach Island. Four splendid stretches of powder-white sand span several kilometres each on Ko Lanta, with many more secluded beaches just waiting to be lounged upon. First discovered by Scandinavian backpackers in the 1980s, this long and slender read more about Ko Lanta

Ko Lao Liang If you thought that all of Thailands finest islands had been ruined by mismanaged development, Ko Lao Liang will prove you wrong. A little-known remedy for travellers seeking breathtaking Andaman Sea scenery without the crowds, the isolated pair of islands dont even register among Trang provinces more popular destinations. And we hope it stays that way. Part of Mu Ko Phetra National Park, Ko Lao Liangs two islands stand side-by-side some 40 kilometres west of the mainland. All read more about Ko Lao Liang

Ko Libong The largest but certainly not busiest island in Trang province, Ko Libong lulls travellers into a simpler state of mind with its unusual landscapes, deep starry nights and Muslim fishing villages uninfluenced by mass tourism. Lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of an endangered dugong, but all will depart with a sense of experiencing something completely different. Close cousins of the manatee and more distantly related to elephants, around 130 chubby and amiable dugongs, also known as read more about Ko Libong

Ko Lipe In the early 1990s, whispers of an unspoilt island far out in Thailand’s Andaman Sea began surfacing among backpackers. With dazzling white-sand beaches touched by crystal-clear water that sheltered vibrant marine life, Ko Lipe was everything it was cracked up to be. Though it remains tremendously beautiful today, mass tourism is pushing Lipe in a worrisome direction. Those who appreciate their luxuries and want to avoid the bigger resort islands will probably find everything they desire on read more about Ko Lipe

Ko Maak Just a few kilometres south of Ko Chang but a world away from its heavy development lies Ko Maak, undoubtedly an overlooked gem in Thailand’s crown. Ideal for those who prefer the quiet life, this decidedly rural island has so far escaped the grasp of major developers. Though a sprinkle of tasteful new resorts have appeared in recent years, it appears that Maak will remain a sleepy, family-friendly destination for the foreseeable future. Ko Maak is blessed with long stretches of read more about Ko Maak

Ko Muk A quintessential island paradise Ko Muk is not, but its decent beaches, affordable accommodation and terrific day-trips draw a handful of travellers each high season. Also commonly spelt Ko Mook, the mid-size island sits off the coast of Trang province in the Andaman Sea and supports a modest Muslim-Thai lifestyle focused on fishing. The only part of Ko Muk ever seen by many travellers is the spectacular Tham Morakot, or Emerald Cave. After swimming through a dark sea cave, you read more about Ko Muk

Ko Mun Nork The blip of an island of Ko Mun Nork rarely finds itself on the itinerary of roving backpackers and travellers — partly due to the cost of the resort, but also because it can only be visited as a part of an organised trip. Ask many Bangkok residents though and you’ll quickly hear some of the rave reviews Ko Mun Nork receives — both as a romantic weekend getaway, but also for the occasional parties thrown on the island — parties which are very much invite only. Private label raves and read more about Ko Mun Nork

Ko Ngai If you’re after a romantic beach holiday on a beautiful island and don’t mind paying a premium for it, Ko Ngai is worth considering. Sitting quietly amid a scenic patch of the Andaman Sea with plentiful coral, Ngai hosts a long sliver of blondish-white sand with views to distant limestone karsts and the mainland. The tiny island doesn’t have much character, but it offers plenty of comfort. Officially part of Ko Lanta National Park, Ko Ngai (also spelt Hai) is easily reached during high read more about Ko Ngai

Ko Pha Ngan Although best known for the monthly full moon parties, which attract thousands of travellers from all over the globe, there is a lot more to stunning Ko Pha Ngan than getting trashed and passing out in the powder-soft white sand. The mid-sized and quite mountainous island (it stretches over 168 sq km and 70% of its topography is mountainous jungle with the remainder beaches and coconut groves) is situated roughly a third of the way from Ko Samui to Ko Tao. The island’s original inhabitants read more about Ko Pha Ngan

Ko Phayam Ko Phayam boasts long uncrowded beaches, plenty of walking trails, some jungle, lots of birdlife, roads without cars and one small village. Sounds good? Read on. Until a few years ago, few tourists had heard of this quiet laidback island on the Andaman coast near the Burmese border. It’s still pretty unspoiled compared to many Thai islands but the number of tourists has increased significantly over the past few years. Tourists of all ages and backgrounds visit but they are nearly all read more about Ko Phayam

Ko Phi Phi Ko Phi Phi, or Phi Phi Island, is one of the most talked about places in Southeast Asia, with its natural beauty and reputation for good times putting it firmly on the tourist trail. The beauty of the island is unparalleled, even in a region of the world renowned for its stunning destinations. Limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, white sand beaches and miles of trackless forest make Phi Phi a perfect tropical island. Developments over the past 20 years however have made it the subject of read more about Ko Phi Phi

Ko Phra Thong In Thai, phra thong means golden Buddha, and a legend tells of how a valuable solid gold Buddha image was buried somewhere on the island hundreds of years ago. Any treasure hunters seem to have given up their searches long ago, which isn’t surprising given Ko Phra Thong’s unforgivingly hot and expansive savannah landscape. Totally unique not only in Thailand but all of Southeast Asia, visitors to Ko Phra Thong often remark that the landscape looks strikingly similar to the savannahs of read more about Ko Phra Thong

Ko Ra Despite its relatively close proximity to the town of Khuraburi along Thailand’s west coast, the long, thin and rugged island of Ko Ra is one of the country’s more remote islands with accommodation, and is a good choice for those seeking an offbeat, eco-minded destination. With most of the island protected as a wildlife sanctuary, this is a chance to experience a lush, untamed landscape. Ko Ra Ecolodge, which offered a wide range of activities, has recently closed and though we haven’t read more about Ko Ra

Ko Rawi Unspoilt Ko Rawi arguably boasts the best beaches of any island in the Adang archipelago — and that’s saying a lot. A smidgen smaller than neighbouring Ko Adang, Rawi has a similarly rugged interior to go with far more rudimentary national park services. Most visitors only stop here for lunch during a boat tour from Ko Lipe, but it’s possible to pitch a tent for a longer stay. Separated only by a one-km-wide channel, Rawi and Adang look like a healthy pair of twins when viewed on a map. read more about Ko Rawi

Ko Rok Brilliant white-sand beaches, crystal-clear water, expansive coral reefs and metre-long monitor lizards: welcome to Ko Rok. Protected as part of Mu Ko Lanta National Park, these gorgeous twin islands boast some of the finest snorkelling in Thailand’s Andaman Sea. Most come as a day trip, but it’s possible to hang around for extended stays during high season. Aesthetically similar to Ko Surin further north, Ko Rok refers to Ko Rok Nai (called the inner island since it’s closer to the read more about Ko Rok

Ko Samet As the closest major island to Bangkok, Ko Samet is one of the most popular places in Thailand to watch teal water caress feathery white sand shores. Its not the kingdoms most picturesque, enchanting or cleanest island, but Samet consistently draws droves of travellers seeking a quick, easy getaway from the Thai capital. One of the very first Thai islands to surface on the foreign traveller radar back in the 1970s, Samets old days of crashing in hammocks next to beach campfires are read more about Ko Samet

Ko Samui Back in the days when backpackers to Southeast Asia were first discovering Ko Samui in the 1970s, a basic thatched hut with running water and electricity was considered luxury. Now Ko Samui is home to some of Thailand’s best luxury resorts and in the popularity stakes is surpassed only by Phuket. With an international airport, a mass of ferry connections and close to 500 hotels and guesthouses, this is not somewhere to come to glimpse a corner of the Thai kingdom untouched by tourism read more about Ko Samui

Ko Si Boya The rural island of Ko Si Boya sits windswept and largely forgotten off the southern coast of Krabi province. The few travellers who make it here are far outnumbered by villagers, who themselves are outnumbered by cows and monitor lizards. While this is not the place to find idyllic beaches and luxury resorts, Si Boya doesn’t disappoint those seeking peace and quiet. Reachable via a 15-minute local ferry hop from the mainland villages of Laem Hin and Laem Kruat, this mid-size island mainly read more about Ko Si Boya

Ko Si Chang Ko Si Chang not to be mistaken with Ko Chang is an island two to three hours from Bangkok, in Chonburi province, 12 kilometres from the western shore of Siracha district and surrounded by eight smaller islands. Ko Si Chang is geographically the closest island to Bangkok, and often overlooked by tourists for more well known destinations. The small island is popular among Thais living in or near Bangkok and is a great place for a day trip with friends or a pleasant weekend with read more about Ko Si Chang

Ko Sukorn On calm and pastoral Ko Sukorn, water buffaloes outnumber the locals, and locals far outnumber the travellers. The not-so-easy-to-reach island is home to a slow-paced Muslim community that subsists mainly off agriculture and fishing, with tourism a distant third. Many of the few travellers who make it here settle in for extended stays, soothed to the bone by the time they leave. The dark-blue water off Sukorns shores doesnt strike the idyllic sapphire and turquoise shades that read more about Ko Sukorn

Ko Surin If Thailand’s tropical islands are the country’s crowned jewels, Ko Surin could be the brightest of them all. Protected as the Mu Ko Surin National Park, Ko Surin actually consists of two relatively small islands Ko Surin Nuea (north) and Ko Surin Tai (south) as well as a handful of islets and some magnificent underwater seascapes. Though many choose to visit on a daytrip, Ko Surin really warrants spending a night or two in order to adequately absorb the unspoilt natural beauty both read more about Ko Surin

Ko Tao Once jokingly referred to as a drinking island with a diving problem, Ko Tao has evolved far beyond backpackers diving and beach boozing. Today the island draws families, flashpackers and sports junkies alike. Visitors will find hiking trails of various levels of difficulty that end with the promise of picturesque views, extreme rock-climbing, live jam sessions where locals and tourists showcase their talents, beach barbecues accompanied by fire shows and even trapeze-flying classes. For such a read more about Ko Tao

Ko Tarutao The Malay word tarutao means old, mysterious, primitive. At 150 square km and with mountains reaching over 500 metres high, this rugged island does indeed stir up a primeval sense of awe. It’s no wonder that Thailand once banished convicted criminals here, and that the TV show, Survivor, chose this as one of its shooting locations. First occupied by only a handful of sea gypsies, Thailand sent more than 3,000 prisoners to work camps on Tarutao in the 1930s and ’40s. Common criminals were read more about Ko Tarutao

Ko Wai Azure water laps onto powdery beaches framed by distinctive rock formations. Vibrant tropical marine life dazzles the snorkellers. Draped in jungle and overgrown rubber groves, pristine hills dare visitors to discover hidden beaches and viewpoints. No roads or motorbikes; no blaring all-night parties; limited electricity, just primitive huts in paradise. Welcome to Ko Wai. This tiny island sits six kilometres south of Ko Chang’s southerly point, reachable via an easy cruise during high read more about Ko Wai

Ko Yao Noi Ko Yao Noi, or Small Long Island, sits halfway between Phuket and Krabi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Found just a 30-minute speedboat trip away from Phuket, Yao Noi’s tight-knit local Muslim community has led the island along a more low-impact, peaceful development path than its rowdy island neighbour. Yao Noi boasts a diverse and photogenic landscape with mangrove forests lining its west coast, a lush, pastoral interior and sandy east-coast beaches with superb views to the towering read more about Ko Yao Noi

Ko Yao Yai Ko Yao Yai, or Big Long Island, running about 30 kilometres in length from top to bottom, sits halfway between Phuket and Krabi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Though only a 25-minute speedboat trip from Phukets east coast, this long, narrow island ringed with thick mangroves and white-sand beaches has somehow avoided becoming another hectic island resort. Its more than twice the size of neighbouring Ko Yao Noi, but tourism development here lags behind its sister island. Yao Yais read more about Ko Yao Yai

Phuket Thailand’s largest island is its best example of the benefits and problems of tourism. Huge promotions of Phuket by the TAT and travel agents since Thailand first start attracting international travellers on a large scale in the 1980s have brought in millions of tourists and billions of baht — the province is visited by over a third of all international visitors to Thailand in any given year. But along with them has come unregulated development, severe environmental degradation, organised read more about Phuket

Similan Islands Some 50 km from the Thai western coast among open water in the Andaman Sea, the Similan islands are known far and wide to boast some of the most spectacular scenery and best snorkelling and diving of anywhere in Southeast Asia. With Malay roots, the word similan means nine in local Moken (sea gypsy) language after the nine tiny islands of the Similan archipelago. Along with magnificent underwater seascapes, the Similans boast some of the finest white sand, turquoise water beaches in Thailand, read more about Similan Islands

Koh Rong Koh Rong is quite possibly that cliched island paradise you’ve been looking for, boasting pristine white beaches, turquoise water and limited development on most of the island. For years the island was almost completely undeveloped save for a diving outfit and a few bungalows, though that’s changing, in particular on the southern patch Koh Touch. Serviced by the fast boat from Sihanoukville as the fourth stop, Koh Touch is a sandy guesthouse-packed stretch that has earned Koh Rong a read more about Koh Rong

Koh Rong Samloem Koh Rong Samloem is just 45 minutes by speedboat and yet a world away from Sihanoukville. The island of many spellings — it’s also known as Koh Rung Samloem, Koh Rong Saloem, Koh Rong Samlon and a few other variations — is owned by the Cambodian navy, which has a base there. As of late 2014 a development company awaits the approval of their plans for the island, with large signboards along the beach near M’Pay Bei village sticking out between the trees, reminding you of the future that read more about Koh Rong Samloem

Koh Sdach This small fishing village island sits at the half-way mark between Koh Kong and Sihanoukville within the Koh Sdach archipelago. Located a 15-minute boat-ride off the Cambodian coast, Koh Sdach is dominated by a sizeable fishing village that stretches along the side of the island that faces the mainland. While fishing is the mainstay of the local economy, the village also has a large ice-making plant, where you can watch the production and see the ice ferried off by boat to the surrounding read more about Koh Sdach

Koh Ta Kiev Only an hour away from the mainland, Koh Ta Kiev is one of the closest islands to Sihanoukville and is on the itinerary of many of the day trips and island tours that leave from the beach town. Few people stay overnight on the island though, which is a shame because it’s beautiful and has a few easily accessible beaches. Like most of the islands in Cambodia, Koh Ta Kiev has been leased to a foreign company — the same French outfit that owns, or has taken 99-year leases, on half of Koh read more about Koh Ta Kiev

Koh Thmei Koh Thmei is part of Ream National Park but this hasn’t stopped the government from selling a substantial amount of the island to the highest bidder. Right now the island is mostly empty; although a few families live on the island, there’s not so much as a village and the only current accommodation is the eight wooden bungalows that comprise Koh Thmei Resort. Their owners believe that they were allowed to open because of their eco-friendly policies; they power it by day using solar panels read more about Koh Thmei

Koh Tonsay Better known as Rabbit Island, Ko Tonsay is a lovely little island about 25 minutes away from Kep by hired boat, making it one of the most easily accessible of all the islands. It is also one of the least-developed, with no motor vehicles, no mains electricity and few residents, making it an ideal getaway from the grind. Boats leave the ferry port in Kep regularly throughout the day a return ticket will cost around $7 or pay $25 for a boat with enough seating for six to eight read more about Koh Tonsay

Koh Totang A small drop in the ocean at only 1.3 kilometres by 500 metres wide, Koh Totang is one of the 12 tropical islands that make up the Koh SDach Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand. Midway between the Thai border and Sihanoukville approximately 60 kilometres in either direction Koh Totang is somewhat out of the way of the main island hotspots, with the likes of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem significantly further south. Until 2014 it was also tricky to get to, requiring an uncomfortable read more about Koh Totang

Don Dhet Referred to by some as Khao San Road on the river, Don Dhet is a classic backpacker hub with just a fraction of the shenanigans that take place on Khao San Road. Now well-established on the backpacker trail through Laos, the number and quality of rooms on Don Dhet continues to climb steadily. The scenery is indeed beautiful and the ambience very relaxed, but Laos this is not. Anyone who tells you differently has eaten too many banana pancakes. If you’re on the way here expecting to read more about Don Dhet

Don Khon Far larger than Don Dhet, Don Khon is skipped by many budget travellers because most of the accommodation is midrange. However although there aren’t 40-odd places to choose from as on Don Dhet, there are budget options here and staying on Don Khon is far more of a Lao experience than Don Dhet. There is a better range of eateries than on Don Dhet and the options for cycling and walking are considerably more extensive. The main disadvantage or advantage depending on your point of view is that read more about Don Khon

Don Khong The largest island in the Si Phan Don area, Don Khong is nowhere near as popular as the more southern islands of Don Dhet, with its chilled-out atmosphere, and Don Khon which has more activities on tap. The interior of Don Khong is almost entirely given over to rice cultivation and a forested mountainous area, while just about all the accommodation is crammed into and around the sleepy town of Muang Khong, which is situated on the east coast of the island. The major pastime on Don Khong is read more about Don Khong

Cat Ba Island Nestled on the periphery of Vietnam’s fabulous Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island is big — more than 350 square kilometres — but most tourists see but a sliver of it. Put ashore as part of a three-day tour of Ha Long Bay, time is spent on organised treks or bike rides in the national park and tours of Monkey Island, or eating at one of the many seafood places around the harbour. But independent travellers shouldn’t rule out a stay. Three beaches are located near the harbour town — hardly world read more about Cat Ba Island

Con Dao Islands The Con Dao Islands (also known as Poulo Condore) are an archipelago of 15 islands situated in the South China Sea, around 250 kilometres, or a 45-minute flight, from Ho Chi Minh City. The island is famed for its grizzly past: due its remoteness, the French used the main island of Con Son (the largest island in the group) to keep anti-colonial protestors prisoner. The South Vietnamese continued the tradition, sending political dissenters and activists to the 11 prisons which were also used read more about Con Dao Islands

Phu Quoc Island Sitting back in a hammock, looking out over the quiet surf, you may wonder why more people don’t know about Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island. It gets almost none of the press of those islands over in Thailand — and yet with its rugged jungle, squeaking white sands and sparkling cobalt waters, it more than matches them. Sadly, with a brand spanking new international airport and progressive visa-exemption scheme, this is slated to change in the coming years. Drive around the island and you can read more about Phu Quoc Island

Pangkor Island Pangkor Island is about a fifth of the size of Penang off Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast, midway between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The word Pangkor is said to be a derivative of the Thai pang koh, which means beautiful island and yes, this gives a hint of what the island is like, with sandy shores and surrounding emerald waters. Pangkor is well regarded as a family-oriented and culturally diverse destination, so guesthouses and hotels are generally family friendly rather than party read more about Pangkor Island

Penang Malaysia’s second largest island, Penang is also its most developed, with the eastern coast dotted with high-rises and crammed with holiday resorts. Travellers who have experienced beaches elsewhere in Asia will probably be unimpressed with the most popular beach spots, but the island’s real attraction lies in its culture, history and cuisine. The main city of Georgetown boasts a meld of interesting architecture stretching from the British colonial era to the colourful multicultural read more about Penang

Perhentian Islands The Perhentian Islands are two main islands, along with a scattering of uninhabited islets, off the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia. They’ve long been renowned for their coral reefs and clear waters, snorkelling, diving, attractive beaches and remote, semi-untouched feel and appearance. The two inhabited islands, Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian) sit across a narrow body of water from one another and each boasts a collection of attractive read more about Perhentian Islands

Semporna and Sipadan Island Its name may mean perfect in the Malay language, but the seaside town of Semporna makes a poor first impression with its fishy smell and littered water. Thankfully for most travellers Semporna is not the destination but the gateway to some of the best scuba diving in the world at Sipadan and Mabul Islands. Sipadan Island has been something of a mecca for scuba divers ever since Jacques Cousteau described it as an untouched piece of art. More than 3,000 species of sea creatures have been read more about Semporna and Sipadan Island

Gili Air Gili Air is the closest to Lombok of the three Gili islands. In size, it lies between Meno and Trawangan, and has the largest normal community. Unlike Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan, Gili Air actually does have its own water source and you’ll notice immediately how much greener and overgrown it is compared to the other two far more arid islands. Much of the interior is given over to coconut cultivation, though tourists are proving themselves a more lucrative crop and slowly the palm read more about Gili Air

Gili Gede Gili Gede is arguably the best known of the Secret Gilis — a sprinkling of islands off the coast of southwest Lombok far lesser known than the Gilis of the northwest. Gili Gede lies among a group also comprising Gili Layan, Gili Ringgit and Gili Asahan — about halfway back to Lembar is a second cluster including Gili Nanggu and Gili Sudak. Of all these, Gili Gede has the broadest selection of accommodation. At time of writing (mid-December 2014) there was a single midrange resort on Gili read more about Gili Gede

Gili Meno Situated midway between Gili Trawangan and Gili Air, Gili Meno is the smallest and least developed of the three Gili islands. Peanut-shaped, with a brackish seawater lake towards its western coast, this arid island is ringed by a good selection of places to stay and is the most affordable of the three islands. As with the others, Gili Meno is encircled by a rather pretty white sand beach, and, as with Gili Air, there is some pretty good snorkelling to be had. While it is the least read more about Gili Meno

Gili Trawangan Gili Trawangan, or Gili T to its friends, is the largest of three islands scattered off Lombok’s northwest coast. While all three of these Gilis (Gili means island in the Sasak language of Lombok) are especially photogenic, each has a character of its own and attracts a certain crowd — in the case of Gili T, it’s the party set. It is a very pretty island. You’ll have near endless opportunity to take photos to make the office back home suitably jealous. The beaches here really are white sand read more about Gili Trawangan

Kanawa Island A beautiful island about one and a half hours by boat more or less due west of Labuan Bajo, Kanawa Island is a bit of a go-to location for backpackers and flashpackers looking for some downtime. The island is surrounded by a reef, some of which is in extremely good condition with an impressive range of sealife, from soft coral through to sting rays, sharks and turtles — and it’s easy swimming distance from the beach. The beach itself is also very attractive, with ample shade, and you’re read more about Kanawa Island

Karimunjawa Islands Think of your ideal tropical paradise. Once you have that in mind, if it includes white-sand beaches fringed by palm trees, turquoise water so bright it stings your eyes, warm weather all year round, hardly any tourists and just enough decent accommodation to ensure you dont have to pitch a tent then the islands of Karimunjawa are your paradise. Located about 90km off the north coast of Central Java, the idyllic group of 27 tropical islands that form the Karimunjawa Islands is one of read more about Karimunjawa Islands

Nusa Ceningan The sliver of land that makes up Nusa Ceningan lies directly to the south of Nusa Lembongan in the main channel between Lembongan and far larger Nusa Penida. The northern channel (Ceningan Strait) runs almost dry at low tide while the southern channel (Toyo Pakeh Strait) is a roaring flow with swirling eddies and very fast currents. The Ceningan Strait runs almost dry at low tide and is given over to seaweed cultivation at the western end. It’s also this channel that has the yellow read more about Nusa Ceningan

Nusa Lembongan Nusa Lembongan occupies a comfortable middle ground between well-trafficked Bali and relatively untouched Nusa Penida. It’s not as pretty as either of the other two islands, but it has a banquet of good places to stay, a friendly bunch of locals and makes for a comfortable time-out. Lembongan is known for two things: seaweed and surf. Seaweed cultivation and harvesting is what keeps the bulk of the local population busy. It is farmed off many of the beaches (likewise on neighbouring Nusa read more about Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Penida Nusa Penida dwarfs nearby Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, yet is almost devoid of tourists. For all intents and purposes there are only three (yes, three) places even worth considering staying at, despite miles upon miles upon miles of beautiful beaches, an attractive hinterland and a generally unspoilt vibe about the place. Before you pack your bags, a couple of disclaimers: The vast majority of beaches, with the notable exception of Crystal Bay, are given over to seaweed farming. read more about Nusa Penida

Togean Islands The Togean — or Togian — Islands are an archipelago in the southeast region of the Tomini Sea in northern Sulawesi. Famous for both their difficulty to reach and diving, the archipelago is formed by seven primary islands situated near the centre of a global hotspot of biodiversity known as the coral triangle. Home to a great number of rare marine and terrestrial species, most tourists who come here are divers or snorkellers hoping to see some of the world’s best marine life in unspoiled read more about Togean Islands

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The best islands in Southeast Asia

Best Places to Live in Piscataway Township, New Jersey

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Oct 182015
 

New York is the largest metro area in the United States. It includes the island of Manhattan, an eight-county area immediately north, western Long Island, and Staten Island. It is the fourth largest in the world behind Tokyo, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Regardless of how the area is defined, New York is among the richest and most complex places to live in America.

Boroughs, districts, and neighborhoods define the city. The borough of Manhattan, a 10-mile-long, 2-mile-wide island, is the financial, commercial, and entertainment core. Much of Lower Manhattan consists of narrow, haphazard streets, dating back to the citys earliest days as a Dutch colony. With the exception of older areas, such as Greenwich Village, the rest of the city follows an orderly grid pattern of avenues and streets laid out in 1811. (Broadway, another exception, moves at a gentle diagonal across the city.)

Filling out the island are distinct districts. Lower Manhattan contains the Financial District. Midtown is the commercial center, with corporate headquarters, various media businesses, and world-class shopping along Fifth Avenue. Large skyscrapers dominate Lower Manhattan, then retreat as does hard bedrock to build on in those areas, then reemerges in Midtown. The in-between area is dominated by older ethnic enclaves like Chinatown and Koreatown and the more famous artsy areas of Greenwich and Soho.

Hip residential areas lie east and west, mainly popular with young single professionals. North and west is Hells Kitchen, in the 40s (most Manhattan area locations are so approximated by their east-west numbered streets) is an old ethnic area and warehouse district enjoying a residential renaissance, to soon be aided by an elevated bikeway and commercial corridor along an old rail line. Times Square and the Theater District just west of Midtown contain the world-famous theaters and numerous restaurants. Surrounding Central Park, the Upper West and Upper East sides are predominantly residential, although both contain ample dining and shopping. The Upper East Side also contains posh enclaves unaffordable for most, outstanding museums, and the designer boutiques of Madison Avenue. The Upper West Side is dotted with large apartment buildings and is a favorite for working professionals and families. Farther north above Central Park, neighborhoods start to decline, although Harlem is undergoing a rebirth.

The boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are a patchwork of residential and commercial areas and parks. They have large industrial areas with a predominant blue-collar feel containing manufacturing and freight distribution centers for the area. All are close to the city and offer relatively more living space, and all are experiencing verying degrees of economic and residential revival. Ethnic diversity is strong in all boroughs, while Queens is reputedly the most ethnically diverse area in the country.

Brooklyn is large and diverse enough to function as a standalone city, with large and some upscale residential areas with a modern downtown and substantial commercial and retail offerings areas. Brooklyn is known for its large Olmstead designed (of Central Park fame) Prospect Park. Brooklyn shares the western end of Long Island with Queens, with excellent transportation service into the city by rail and subway and numerous beaches, parks and residential neighborhoods south and east towards the large JFK airport. Brooklyn is socioeconomically very diverse, with a mix of upscale, middle class and poorer areas, while Queens is more clearly identifiable as middle class.

The Bronx area, on the mainland to the north of Manhattan, is the grittiest of the three areas, although its strategic location between the city and to better areas north is starting to bring some interest. Staten Island, a mainly-residential borough to the south, is connected to Manhattan by ferries and the Verrazano Narrows bridge.

Finally, the New York metro area includes northern suburbs stretching up into Westchester County between the east bank of the Hudson River and the Connecticut border. Westchester is generally upscale and expensive, with spread-out towns and a country setting. White Plains is the largest city and a modern corporate center with large facilities for IBM and a number of companies relocating north from Manhattan. Smaller but very upscale areas lie east along the Long Island Sound (Rye being an example) and north along the Hudson as the smaller towns of Tarrytown, Ossining and Croton-on-Hudson.

Rockland County is more middle class with some working-class areas. West Nyack is a large family-oriented middle class area. Other suburbs give workers access to New York by freeway or by rail lines across the Hudson or to northern New Jersey.

The New York area offers a rich assortment of amenities, with world-class dining, shopping, and performing arts including theater, symphony, opera, and live music. Museums and architectural attractions, large and small, draw global audiences. Numerous major-league teams play in the area, including the MLB Yankees and Mets, NBA Knicks, NFL Giants and Jets, and NHL Islanders and Rangers. An extensive public transit system with subways and buses serves the urban core and links the boroughs.

A suburban rail and ferry network services surrounding communities in Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey. Rail lines on the Northeast Corridor make such cities as Boston and Washington, D.C. easily accessible. Many residents dont own cars and choose to depend on public transit or an occasional car rental. Three major airportsLa Guardia, Kennedy, and nearby Newarkprovide air service domestically and abroad. Surrounding the city are numerous recreation areas: Long Island beaches, the Poconos, the Hudson Valley, and the Jersey Shore, to name only a few.

The downsides are significant. The city is crowded and stressful, and some neighborhoods are run down. Violent crime rates are high, although not as bad as the stereotype. Cost of living is high in all categories and is rising. Median home prices of half a million or more dont buy much, especially in Manhattan. Home prices there can be five to six times higher for comparable properties in surrounding boroughs. Income differentials between wealthy workers and others are high, and overall the Buying Power Index is usually the worst in the country, suggesting that incomes dont keep up with costs. New York is a great place if you like the lifestyle and can make ends meet.

The New York City area exceeds 300 square miles and is located mostly on islands. Elevations range from less than 50 feet over most of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to several hundred feet in northern Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The area is close to storm tracks, and most weather approaches from the west- producing higher summer and lower winter temperatures than would otherwise be expected in a coastal area. Summers are hot and humid with occasional long periods of discomfort. Sea breezes occasionally moderate summer heat and winter cold in Lower Manhattan. Manhattan and the inner boroughs are more likely to receive rain in winter while outlying areas get snow. Precipitation is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. Summer rainfall is mainly from thunderstorms, usually of brief duration. Late summer and fall rains associated with tropical storms may occur. Coastal noreaster storms can produce significant snow. First freeze is mid-November, last is early April.

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Best Places to Live in Piscataway Township, New Jersey

00.03.07: Human Cloning, Genetic Engineering and Privacy

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on 00.03.07: Human Cloning, Genetic Engineering and Privacy
Oct 162015
 

Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Home

by Carolyn Williams

Much of the technology is now available and with it comes a host of moral and ethical concerns. Is man playing God? Will clones become a subculture? Are we risking genetic disasters? Will this technology benefit all of society or just a select few? Cloned humans and genetically engineered bodies are the stuff that yesterdays science fiction was made of. Today, they are current event topics and promise to become our medical future. We may not be morally prepared for these events, but the technology is here. Do we ignore it, try to regulate it, hope and pray that it goes away or do we embrace this new technology?

I am inclined to agree with Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Biotech Century who writes, Our way of life is likely to be transformed more fundamentally in the next few decades than in the previous thousand years. (1) We are looking ahead to the possibility of cloning or replicating a baby, rather than reproducing one in the old-fashioned ways, growing brains in a jar and correcting genetic disorders in human fetuses. While these ideas may sound sensational and perhaps even frightening to some, they are fast becoming a part of our medical environment.

Cloning and genetic engineering dominate tomorrows medical environment. That is the environment into which todays students will enter. They will inherit the responsibilities as scientists, geneticists, doctors, lawyers, politicians, theologians and educators who will decide if these technologies are ethically and morally acceptable This study will serve as a useful introduction for getting students to think about tomorrows issues.

For some, the concerns have become fears so great that a number of people have called for an outright ban into the practice of cloning human beings. Likewise, the idea of genetically manipulating human DNA cells raises questions about designing ideal human beings and also prompts a call for banning such research.

Those who support the idea of a ban see no benefits in practicing cloning.. Some concerns go toward ideas of immorality for creating in laboratories that which God intended in nature. Others feel that there is much to be gained by continuing the research and testing its possibilities. For that group, cloning offers benefits to infertile couples or those seeking to solve medical problems.

There are those who feel that genetic research technology would be used for immoral purposes. It raises questions of who will be the beneficiaries? How do we guard against creating a preferred race, a selected intelligence or behavior? How do these ideas of creating and engineering life fit into the traditional scheme of procreating? Cloning and genetic engineering eliminate human individuality and deny diversity, according to proponents of the ban.

On the other side of the issue, there is much to be gained by forging ahead with research into this technology and its application. The benefits could well outweigh the fears that many have conjured up about genetic disasters. The problem is that actual results cannot be obtained without testing it on human beings. While early discovery promises that human genome technology has the potential to help solve numerous medical problems that relate to aging, replacement of human body parts, infertility and what we now view as incurable diseases, we cannot know what will happen without applying the technology.

Proponents of the ban feel that the rich and the powerful will dictate who is cloned or how those clones will function in society? Do we dwell on the possibility that some races or classes of people will be eliminated because they were not chosen to be cloned? Do we hold those same fears about genetic engineering? That somehow medical science will be responsible for providing society with a new social weapon over the underprivileged? Are there any good reasons to take the risks?

Although cloning and genetic engineering invite numerous questions about human behavior and societys views of the value of life, would a government ban stifle the potential progress that this technology might bring to our lives? Would an outright ban be a violation of ones constitutional right to find out if our fears are justified?

To create a clone, doctors begin with a single egg cell from any woman. The nucleus of the cell (the part containing the genes) is taken out and replaced with the nucleus of a cell from the person being cloned. The cell can then be implanted into any woman and allowed to grow, develop and be born like any baby. But the woman who carries it is not its mother. It has no mother or father as we understand these terms. It is a clone- a genetic duplicate of its donor. (2)

Cloning is not new. It has existed for years with plants and more recently, with some invertebrates. Now we move to the realm of human cloning. That is cause for more serious consideration. A human being is more than just his or her genes and a clone is more than just a copy of his or her donor. A clone and its donor are identical twins, each with its own individuality and its own soul. These twins will be years apart in age and subject to the environment in which each lives

While the idea of cloning a human being does raise various concerns, mostly fears, the facts as we know them today are that a clone is a duplicate of another human. being. It is no less human or any less individual than the human from which it is copied. However, that knowledge remains to be tested and at this time the country is not prepared to find out if cloning works in practice as it does in theory.

first successful freezing of bull semen – 1950

frogs cloned from asexual tadpole cells- 1952

frogs cloned using cells of older tadpoles- 1962

Baby Louise was conceived in a laboratory dish through in vitro fertilization -1978

Baby M was born to a surrogate mother through artificial issemination-1983

Dolly, the sheep was reproduced in the exact genetic image of its mother- 1996/ 1997

Cloning of a Rhesus monkey whose reproductive development is close to a humans-1997.

Cloning of two more sheep, Molly and Polly with human blood clotting proteins in their milk which will be extracted to treat human hemophilia -1997

Cloning has been successful in these areas. What makes the difference in trying it with human beings? There is a fear that embryos will be manipulated to produce a child with the desired eye or hair color or with enhanced physical prowess or intelligence. Another fear is that a human will be cloned to provide organs for transplants for its genetic twin. (4) We cannot know if these things will happen.

The questions are taken from Lee Silvers Remaking Eden . The information which follows each question briefly summarizes Silvers research and is offered to aid you in your discussion of cloning as a reproductive choice. Each summarized response is followed by a citation note which indicates a range of pages where further clarification of the information can be found in the text.

-Could a woman give birth to her identical twin sister?

Consider the futuristic account of Jennifer and Rachel which begins in the year Jennifer is a thirty-five year old single woman who wants to have a child. Jennifer is well aware that cloning is illegal under federal law, except in the case of infertile women. Unlike twentieth century women who had to rely on sperm donated by a male, Jennifer decided to use her own cells to create new life.

A dozen or so eggs are recovered from Jennifers ovaries and each is fused with a donor cell taken from the inside of her mouth. The incubated eggs yield healthy embryos that are then implanted into Jennifers uterus. Nine months later, a healthy baby girl, Rachel is born to Jennifer.

Clearly Jennifer is Rachels birth mother because Rachel was born from Jennifers body. Rachel has no father because there is no male involvement. Jennifer is not Rachels genetic mother. Genetically, Jennifer and Rachel are twin sisters. This means that Rachels genetic parents are the same as Rachels genetic parents. Rachels genetic parents are in reality the two people that are traditionally referred to as her grandparents. Fanciful? (5)

-Could a child have two genetic mothers?

Technically it is possible to produce a fully healthy child through the fusion of two embryos from two different women. The eggs are harvested from both women and each fertilized using donated sperm from one single donor. The fertilized eggs are then incubated for the necessary period. After which the selected embryos from each of the two women are pushed together. They immediately stick to each other. From what was two embryos, there is now only one. While there is more clinical work to be done the resulting embryo shares two genetic mothers. Amazing! (6)

-Could a man become pregnant?

Is Male pregnancy possible? Probably yes . Is male pregnancy feasible? No, not at this time. Its not just a question of whether the baby lives, but whether the pregnant man himself survives the birth. The three ingredients that are essential for pregnancy are a fertilized egg, a hormonal environment to allow implantation and a living womb within which the embryo can grow and form a placenta. All of these occur naturally in a woman, but would have to be duplicated for a mans body. Presently, that duplication is a far reach into the future technology of cloning.

Science offers as proof, the birth of Baby Louise in 1978 which has shown that a womans eggs can be fertilized in vitro. Those eggs can then be inserted into a mans body through a tiny glass needle. That satisfies the first ingredient. The second ingredient is satisfied without new research. Doctors have already successfully stimulated the pregnancy environment in post menopausal women. With hormonal injections to stimulate the pregnancy environment, the implantation should likely take hold in a man in the same way that it does in a woman. That leaves the question of the living womb- the third and final ingredient. Again, science offers as proof, some abnormal pregnancies in which a womans abdomen acting as the womb have successfully resulted in live and healthy Cesarean births. Although many are dangerous to the mother and the fetus, some have occurred with positive results. While this kind of birth would represent a greater danger for men if spontaneous hemorrhaging occurred, the question remains. If a womans abdomen can act as a womb, why cant a mans?

The definitive answer(s) to the initial question are, Yes, male pregnancy is possible, but still, only through the help of a surrogate mother.. No, it is not likely to be tried by men or by clinicians who are asked to perform such a procedure for men. However, in our future, there will be males who will seek such a procedure and they will be accommodated. Think about that! (7)

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that various public officials are proposing legislation to outlaw human cloning or at the very least impose restrictive limits on the research that will lead to cloning. To date, researchers fear that the US Congress could pass laws banning research on human cloning. A directive issued in 1997, by President Clinton to ban the use of federal funds for human cloning research suggests that an outright ban to continue the research and eventually the practice will be the next step taken by Congress. The directive not only bans the use of federal funds to public research companies, but also urges those who receive private funding to accept a voluntary five- year moratorium on such research, at least while the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) reviews the issues and prepares a report. (8)

The directive was published in April of 1997, the Commission promised a report by the end of May in that same year. The NBAC examined ethical, legal and religious implications of cloning before urging a moratorium on human cloning. By Spring of 1999, Skeptic Magazine reported The Commission concludes that at this time it is morally unacceptable for anyone in the public or private sector, whether in a research or clinical setting; to attempt to create a child using somatic nuclear transfer cloning. (9) Somatic cell nuclear transfer was the technology used to clone Dolly, the sheep. Scientists feel that the same technology could be used to clone humans.

Ethical concerns against cloning as outlined by the Commission:

Catholic teaching refers to human cloning as something out of the norm. The cloning of human beings would be a violation of the natural moral law. The Catholic Medical Association CMA is opposed to any attempts at human cloning and finds it -contrary to the method of procreation designed by God. (11)

We can not know what harm or benefits cloning will bring to our human existence, as we know it today. We do know however, that much of what we fear in this technology will continue to play a role in our changing evolution.

To conclude this segment, I quote from Lee Silver, For human beings, though, its not just a question of whether cloning could work, its a question of whether it could work safely. A basic principle of medical ethics is that doctors should not perform any procedure on human subjects if the risk of harm is greater than the benefit that might be achieved. (12) Physicians would be obligated to refrain from practicing cloning technology unless they are sure that it causes no greater dangers than that which is associated with natural conception. As it stands now, can they be sure if they are banned from practicing?

Read and discuss the opening section on cloning Take an informal survey to find out if students understand what cloning is and how it happens.. Now find what individuals feel about cloning. Are they for or against it, based on their present knowledge? Why ?

Engage students in some dialog about cloning as a personal choice. Allow them to speak freely as to whether anyone would choose cloning for any reason. Guided questions should be general at this point. Follow the discussion with some focus on first impression ideas of what might be considered beneficial or harmful about cloning.

Read aloud with the class Been There; Done That and invite the students to ask questions about the reading. If there are no questions, pose some. For example, Is Baby Louise any less human that you are? Would a child born through a surrogate be loved differently than an adopted child? Would a cloned child necessarily be treated differently from either of these?

Choose one of the questions from Things that make your Brain Itch Engage students in critical thinking exercises to ease them into the idea of evaluating their personal positions through writing about any one of the topics that is suggested by the questions. Challenge or charm them to use their critical and creative thinking strengths to write and present a persuasive essay, or to create an original poem, short story, one- act play, song or any other idea that might demonstrate their understanding of the concepts and allow for some learning challenge at the same time.

One of the most significant changes within the twentieth century and early decades of the twenty-first century is the development of our ability to manipulate life through genetic engineering. Science promises to achieve in overnight laboratories the process of natural selection which would otherwise take millions of years in nature. Research predicts that one day geneticists may be able to remove traits from human beings that are considered undesirable and replace them with more acceptable ones. However, that is in our future. Currently, the battle is to be able to freely and legally complete the research that will eventually lead to this kind of genetic engineering of humans.

At this point, members of this society, like those in Canada and Europe raise questions in protest of the ethics and the morality of such practices. Should the US follow other countries and allow this protest to lead to an outright ban or stiff regulations against genetic engineering ? An outright ban not only limits potential medical breakthroughs, but limits personal freedoms as well.

Humans have some 100,000 genes which serve as instructions to the body. What will it mean to know the complete human genome, asks Eric Lander of MIT s Whithead Institute. According to Lander, some of the genes identified are linked to diseases like cancers of the breast and colon, Alzheimers, Glaucoma and Parkinsons. Figuring out how the genes work promises to lead to prevention and or advanced treatment.(14)

Genes are located in the nucleus of every living cell. Each gene is a molecule of a chemical called DNA which acts like a master code to determine characteristics of the individual. When the living cells reproduce themselves, by dividing in two the DNA is reproduced exactly. Genetic engineering brings about a specific mutation (changes in the structure of a DNA molecule) in a specific gene. Once scientists determine the gene or groups of genes that contain the characteristics that they want to change, a computer maps the exact structure of the DNA molecule, locating the part that must be removed and replaced by new coding material that will change the information that the gene sends to the body. (15)

Some biotech companies are concentrating their efforts in the field of tissue engineering and fabrication of human organs. While others are turning their attention to unde rstanding how genes switch on and off and interact with their environment to cause genetic diseases. Still others have dedicated their energies to creating artificial human chromosomes, a development that could lead to the customized design of genetic traits in the sex cells, or in the embryonic cells just after conception.

Scientists are projecting that by the year 2011, they would have learned how to program the development of cells that could be transplanted into humans. However, it will take many more years before theyre are able to fool cells to develop into an entirely new organ like a liver or a kidney.

Researchers hope to move beyond the notion of transplants and into the era of fabrication, and are already well along in research to fabricate human heart valves, breasts, ears, cartilage, noses and other body parts. (16) Following the wisdom of Robert Langer and Dr. Joseph P. Vicanti, leaders in this field, Rifkin agrees that The idea is to make organs, rather than simply move them. Researchers in this field predict that by the year 2020 ninety-five percent of human body parts will be replaceable with laboratory grown organs.

One example of how this extraordinary technology would work may be told in the story of a ten year old boy into whom a laboratory- grown human organ was expected to be transplanted in 1998. At Bostons Childrens Hospital, director of tissue engineering at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Anthony Atala grew a human bladder in a glass jar. Atalas research team seeded a plastic scaffolding made to represent the three dimensional shape of a bladder with bladder cells from the patient. The human cells grew over the frame in the laboratory jar and was expected to be transplanted- making it the first tissue-engineered organ ever transplanted into a human. What should happen with this new technology is -eventually the scaffolding over which the cells had been growing will be destroyed by the patients own enzymes, leaving a fully functioning human bladder. (17)

While all of these things might possibly result from genetic engineering, many believe that there is great danger in man altering the order of nature. Altering genes in humans could have dramatically different results than those discovered in lab mice. The human body tends to reject anything foreign, like a virus carrying a corrective gene into a diseased cell. (18) So far, experimental treatment has been confined to treating life -threatening diseases and altering somatic cells which pass on altered genes to future generations. Where should lines of human intervention be drawn?

We likely cant count on parents-to-be who wish to choose physical characteristics, personalities or talents of their children. It is now possible to screen thousands of genes within individual embryos. Scientists are developing ways in which to remove or replace genes in individuals so as to change their individual attributes. With enough money the perspective parent will be able to include whatever traits he/ she desires in the offspring Genetic screening also makes it possible to determine what diseases or kind of illness that the child is predisposed to.

There is an even greater concern about the misuse of genetic screening. There have been reported cases of discrimination in providing health insurance coverage to people who are known to be predisposed to life-threatening diseases. There are also reported cases of employee discrimination. One such case involved a social worker who was abruptly dismissed from her job when her employee learned that she was predisposed to Huntingtons disease (19)

What does this kind of genetic tracking mean to students in various learning environments? Too often the child who is diagnosed as having a genetic disorder will likely receive less attention and support from teachers who feel that the child will not learn anyway. The handicapped or special need students might well be dismissed totally. For these students the discrimination has social implications far beyond their school years into their adult years, where their genetic profiles will follow them. They will become twice victimized by their genetic

Segregating individuals by their genetic makeup represents a fundamental shift in the exercise of power.(20) Institutions who hold such information also hold a weapon of absolute power. There is also concern about further dividing society into genetically superior and genetically inferior groups. Those who can afford to program superior traits into their fetuses at conception stand to gain biological, social and economic advantages.

from Omnis Future Medical Almanac (partial listing)

When using the information given in this timeline, you will need to check various sources for actual dates of events- given that these dates represent projections and many of them have already occurred. The editors of this book advise its users that they are looking at basic research and ongoing clinical trials, along with the fantasies of medicines brightest minds and dreams that will change the face of health care. The book presents medical sciences cutting edge, but also takes a look at what the future will likely bring. (21)

1986 first human gene therapy trials for ADA and purine nucleaside phosphorylase deficiency begin

. 1987-1990 Genetically engineered drugs to control hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, stress and certain cancers were FDA approved.

1991-1995 Scientists map all fifty cancer genes

1996-2000 Major outline of human gene map is known.

Prenatal genetic screen tests become available for home use. 2001-2010 First human gene therapy traits for Alzheimers and other diseases resulting from defects in more than one gene begin.

2011-2100 Gene transfer therapy for all hereditary diseases becomes standard practice. All hereditary or genetically linked diseases are eradicated.

Procedure:

Introduce the idea of altering ones physical appearance by asking the children which of the following procedures they may consider having done now or in the future through cosmetic surgery? Would anyone have your teeth straightened? Would you go for a hair transplant or permanent weave? Would you consider breast enlargement or reduction?

Explain to the students that these are minor flaws that many consider changing as a way of improving their overall appearances. But there are those that interfere with the quality of ones life and may be necessary in order to save a life or at least provide a greater quality of life.

Engage students in dialog by asking the following questions. If you were born with club feet, would you want to have them surgically corrected? If you were born with a congenital heart disease would you have that corrected?

Now tell them that scientists are working on ways to detect and correct those abnormalities before children are born through genetic engineering.

Have students set up notes for working definitions of the terms found in Vocabulary segment .

Next read the segment entitled Genetic Engineering and its possibilities Handout 1. Allow sufficient time for students to record definitions as they find them in the reading.

Discuss the reading by raising questions that relate to students understanding of the information.. For example ask, From your reading, can you describe the process by which genes are genetically altered ?

Next have students discuss and make notes outlining some of the ways in which genetic engineering technology is intended to be used. After taking notes and some discussion, ask students to express their ideas of what it might mean to be a human being in a world where babies are genetically designed and customized in the womb.

What are some of the positive and negative results of people being identified, stereotyped and discriminated against on the basis of their genotype?

Take some time to survey the Timeline- Handout 2. Open a discussion into the possibilities of these things occurring and some of their implications.

Ask students to elaborate on the following ideas by looking at the positive and negative implications. Will the ability to eliminate certain diseases ensure that there is no sickness or death from poor health? What could it mean to have a life expectancy of 125 or more years?

Find out if students agree with those who support research on human embryos as a step toward eventually having the ability to eliminate certain diseases or are they more inclined to follow the position taken by those who feel that human experimentation is morally unacceptable even if it does provide knowledge for eliminating certain diseases from the body?

Close the lesson segment by posing these questions . What are the risks we take in attempting to design a more perfect human? How much perfection is enough to satisfy whomever seeks improvement through science rather than nature?

The struggle to balance the protection of individual rights, social interests and technology against the founding principles and values declared in the Constitution may take on a whole new meaning in the face of this new biomedical technology. What may appear at first glance as a violation of our right to privacy, may in effect be a protection of those rights for individuals who are not among the rich and the powerful.

What is a citizens constitutional right to privacy as it relates to reproduction choices? Although not stated in the constitution as a fundamental guarantee, the Supreme Court has declared that two types of privacy are protected by the Constitution One type of privacy is interpreted to include the right to make personal decisions. The other covers the right to keep personal information private. It implies freedom to decide without government interference with that choice.

Human Cloning is a reproductive choice and a person has a legal right to choose it as such. If the current ban against human cloning continues it will directly affect the person who chooses cloning as a way of creating a family. That would be a direct interference from government. It would be a violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth amendment

What are the past decisions handed down by the courts in privacy cases? Earlier Court rulings allowed women the right to choose abortion in Roe v. Wade. Would the same be extended in the choice to create a life The Court has had to acknowledge in vitro fertilization (IVF) as an alternative form of creating life. Would cloning fall into that same category? Yes, it should. It is an alternative form of reproduction, but it is different in that the cloned individual is a genetic duplicate of a previously existing genotype.

Lori Andrews offers this differentiation. Cloning is sufficiently distinct from traditional reproduction or alternative reproduction. It is not a process of genetic mix, but of genetic duplication. It is not reproduction, but a sort of recycling, where a single individuals genome is made into someone else.(22) Will the wisdom of the Court and the logic of their reasoning rulings mentioned above serve as basis for allowing the practice of cloning? Will the idea of cloning require a broader interpretation of the Constitution?

If indeed, cloning is considered a form of reproduction, the Court has been clear on the matter of fundamental rights to privacy in Roe v. Wade (1973) and consequent rulings which followed. Will the Court now reverse itself by upholding a ban on human cloning practice? By doing so is the government violating an individuals right to choose if, when and how to beget a child?

By banning human cloning is government protecting privacy rights in that it stops human experimentation and protects the rights of those who wish not to be cloned? People have few legal rights to their body tissues and genes once they leave the bodies. Under current law, it would be easy for someone to get DNA from a hair follicle, or in a medical setting without permission and there is no legal recourse for reclaiming it or its resulting use.

The right to privacy, simply interpreted is a reasonable expectation to be able to choose. Do scientists expect government should interfere with their ability to make new discoveries and pass them on to the general public? Do infertile couples who wish to have themselves cloned expect government to decide that they should not be cloned?

Do pharmaceutical companies expect to be prohibited from developing new drugs to treat known diseases now that their new genome research has led to a better understanding of what causes the body to break down? If scientists have a better understanding of how genes can be manipulated to send different signal to the body, do they expect that government will deny them the right to do so because of a legal ban?

The government s invasion into the privacy of individuals may be best illustrated in the area of genetic testing. The genetic surveillance and tracking represented by the federally funded Human Genome Project poses enormous threats to our basic rights to privacy and self determination,(23) If everyone is tested and categorized, the potential for misuse of that information is so great that it screams for legislation to prevent genetic discrimination.

This discrimination is very different from what many in this country already experience. What is different are the mechanisms through which it is applied. It is virtually impossible to escape your genetic profile in the workplace, in seeking health care or insurance coverage, in schools and through bills passed by legislators to test a variety of groups, namely prisoners, welfare recipients immigrants and others who are powerless to stop it.

Genetic technologies reflect the power differentials in our society; they do not equally benefit all segments, nor are they meant to.(24) Thus these technologies become social and political weapons in an already divided society.

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00.03.07: Human Cloning, Genetic Engineering and Privacy

Illuminati News: Secret Societies

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Illuminati News: Secret Societies
Oct 062015
 

Find on this web site.

Donations [Make a donation and collect the BONUSES!] – I have noticed that I have had to neglect some things in life that are very important to me and others, while working hour after hour on my website. Therefore I ask you, kind visitor, for a donation, so I can spend the same amount of time, and more, on research, and less time trying to manage my finances. – – by Wes Penre, Jan 01, 2006 –

“All secret, oath bound, political parties are dangerous to any nation.” President Ulysses S. Grant

An Overall Briefing

Secret Societies And the New World Order – by William Cooper –

Overview of Secret Societies – Beneath the broad tides of human history there flow the stealthy undercurrents of the secret societies, which frequently determine in the depth the changes that take place upon the surface. — Author Arthur Edward Waite The Real History of the Rosicrucian Steiner Books, 1977[1] – – by Gianna DeVincent Hayes, Ph.D (Keeping America Free), Dec 28, 2005 – (Posted here: Dec 29, 2005)

Signs of a Secret Society – by Jon Rappoport, April 14, 2004 -When I wrote THE SECRET BEHIND SECRET SOCIETIES, I kept a list of some of the characteristics of any secret society, to use as a guideline … (Posted here: April 16, 2004)

Secret Societies – The pulsing, squeezing beat of the living organism called the Elitethose in influential positions who are making unwanted decisions for ushave succeeded in bringing forth a global government or New World Order (NWO). They pulled out their entire armory, and over dozens of years, generations of generations, they have pushed the NWO agenda down our throats, and weve meekly accepted it. – – American Chronicle, Feb 27, 2006 – (Posted here: March 01, 2006)

Brotherhoods [EXCELLENT] – Secret Societies and their rituals revealed! – – Brotherhoods and Secret Societies Website – (Posted here: August 22, 2006)

John F. Kennedy’s Warning About Secret Societies Taking Over the World [Audio] – Listen to this incredible audio recording of a speech made by JFK before the American Newspaper Publishers Association where he warns the press about the secret societies that are the real power in global affairs. – – InfoWars.com – (Posted here: Thursday, July 06, 2006)

Secret Societies and Subversive Movements – “There is in Italy a power which we seldom mention in this House . . . I mean the secret societies. . . .” – – by Nesta Webster – (Posted here: June 8, 2004)

Blue Blood – New Great Website on the Elite and Their Genealogy! – – blue-blood.co.uk – (Posted here: July 23, 2004)

Freemasonry, P2, Nazi Occult, Gladio, Thule, Fascism, CIA, Luciferianism, and Far Right Reactionary Politics – One of the more twisted myths being propagated by ‘Regular’ Anglo-American Freemasonry of late is that the Nazi’s persecuted ‘regular’ Freemasonry in Germany during it’s reign – – Freemasonry Watch – (Posted here: November 1, 2004)

Project for Exposure of Hidden Institutions – The purpose of the Project for the Exposure of Hidden Institutions (PEHI) is to put together the entire spectrum of hidden organizations and secret societies. Most of you who visit this site have probably heard of the more well-known ‘secret societies’ like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bohemian Grove, and the Skull & Bones student society. – – Project for the Exposure of Hidden Institutions – (Posted here: Aug 8, 2005)

Your Eyes Wide Shut – Graphic Website on Freemasonry and the Illuminati, inspired by the movie “Eyes Wide Shut” with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman – – YourEyesWideShut.com – (Posted here: Nov 05, 2005)

Secret Societies: They Are Not Just at Yale – They Are Running a University Near You – The world over has heard of Skull and Bones of Yale University. This elite secret society holds within its membership at least four U.S. Presidents. George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry are both members of Skull and Bones. This made the 2004 presidential election the first known election where two secret society members ran against each other. However, names like the Order of the Bull’s Blood, Mystical Seven Society, The Order of Gimghoul , Burning Spear, and Machine are less familiar. Make no mistake these too are powerful societies. – – by Altevia Wilborn – (Posted here: Friday, December 22, 2006)

Freemasonry: Free-Masons Create Un-Free People

“You must conceal all the crimes of your brother Masons… and should you be summoned as a witness against a brother Mason be always sure to shield him.. It may be perjury to do this, it is true, but your keeping your obligations.” [ Ronayne, “Handbook of Masonry” p. 183 ]

This means, for example, that if a criminal, who happens to be a Freemason, goes to court, and the judge is a Freemason as well, the judge’s duty is to protect the criminal instead of obeying the law. Now, expand on this even further and you will draw a pretty horrifying picture. Wes Penre

* * *

An Overview of the Ancient Egyptian Cult – In order to conduct the cult of the gods, the Egyptians constructed religious facilities that remain some of the most elaborate structures ever built. These temples were called by the ancient Egyptians, hwt-ntr, meaning “the house of the god”. These temples actually usually served several gods, and in order to sustain these cult activities, considerable resources, such as extensive networks of land, livestock and personnel were required. These necessary resources that were required to support the activities of a temple were referred to as r-pr, meaning “temple estate”. – – by Jefferson Monet – (Posted here: Saturday, Jan 19, 2008)

Lucifer – Albert Pike – Eliphas Levi and the Masonic Lodge – This study begins with a bold statement: The God of the Masonic Lodge is Lucifer! This is not a conclusion reached overnight, but one which was drawn from many hours of long study and a thorough examination of the facts. This statement has been made with no qualms or hesitation because the facts will convince one to make such a statement. There have been others that have made this declaration. – – Ritualabusefree.org (Posted here: Tuesday, May 13, 2008)

Albert Pike on Masonry: The True Nature of the Society – Many masonic apologists at various websites have offered “defenses” in response to anti-masons, attempting to dismiss the popular quotations drawn from Masonic master-philosopher Albert Pike, which show freemasonry to be syncretistic and anti-Christian. So here are the actual quotes from Pike’s “Morals and Dogma.”- – NICENE TRUTH – (Posted here: Thursday, October 09, 2008)

SECOND FAMILY UK – Survivors of Freemasonry Speak Out! – “We are all victims of Freemasonry” SF (UK) are a not just a support group for victims of the criminal organization that calls itself “Freemasonry”, we also campaign for fairer and democratic society. SF are not a hate or revenge group, just to peacefully campaign for change and make the world a better place. We have contacted UGLE (United Grand Lodge of England), GLOS (Grand Lodge of Scotland), the top Masons at Rosslyn Chapel and their other spokesman? at the Masonicinfo (Masonic-misinformation) website. – – Secondfamily-uk.com – (Posted here: Saturday, Jan 19, 2008) The Origin of Freemasonry: The Crusaders & Templars – The common perception of the majority of historians of Freemasonry is that the origin of the organization goes back to the Crusades. In fact, though Masonry was only officially established and recognized in England in the early eighteenth century, the roots of the organization do reach back to the Crusades in the twelfth century. At the center of this familiar tale is an order of crusaders called the Knights Templar or the Templars. – – by Harun Yahya – (Posted here: April 20, 2005)

Tom Paine on Freemasonry [Part I | Part II ] – The Entered Apprentice knows but little more of Masonry than the use of signs and tokens, and certain steps and words by which Masons can recognize each other without being discovered by a person who is not a Mason. The Fellow Craft is not much better instructed in Masonry, than the Entered Apprentice. It is only in the Master Mason’s Lodge, that whatever knowledge remains of the origin of Masonry is preserved and concealed. – – by Thomas Paine – (Posted here: Sunday, Sep 03, 2006)

Masons and Mystery at the 33rd Parallel – American Freemasonry and related power elites are responsible for a number of murders and provocations to war which happened along or close to the northern 33rd degree of latitude, also known as the33rd Parallel. Most of the world’s wealth is stored north of the north 33rd Parallel. Major financial centers north of the 33rd Parallel include London, New York, Chicago, and Switzerland. Most of this planet’s six billion people live south of the 33rd Parallel.- – by Day Williams – (Posted here: Monday, October 08, 2007)

Freemasonry – by Terry Melanson –

Albert Pike and Three World Wars – Very few outsiders know about the intimate plans of Albert Pike and the architects of the New World Order. In the 19th Century Albert Pike established a framework for bringing about the One World Order. Based on a vision revealed to him, Albert Pike wrote a blueprint of events that would play themselves out in the 20th century, with even more of these events yet to come. It is this blueprint which we believe unseen leaders are following today, knowingly or not, to engineer the planned Third and Final World War. – – ThreeWorldWars.com – (Posted here: Saturday, Jan 19, 2008)

The Jesuit, Illuminati, Knights of Columbus and Masonic Oaths -hen a Jesuit of the minor rank is to be elevated to command, he is conducted into the Chapel of the Convent of the Order, where there are only three others present, the principal or Superior standing in front of the altar. On either side stands a monk, one of whom holds a banner of yellow and white, which are the Papal colors, and the other a black banner with a dagger and red cross above a skull and crossbones, with the word INRI, and below them the words IUSTUM, NECAR, REGES, IMPIOUS… – – BibleBelievers.org.au – (Posted here: Saturday, August 18, 2007)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 1) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – Cephasministry.com – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 2) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – Cephasministry.com – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 3) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – Cephasministry.com – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 4) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – Cephasministry.com – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 5) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – Cephasministry.com – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

History of the Hebrew Manuscript on the Origin of Freemasonry (Part 6) – It was generally believed that modern Freemasonry was created in 1717 when its Grand Lodge of England was established. It was also generally believed that it was Dr. James Anderson who wrote its “New Constitutions…” – – Cephasministry.com – (Posted here: November 22, 2004)

Files About Freemasonry – The Structure of Freemasonry – American Freemasonry remembles two sets of stairs that begin and end together, as this chart of Masonic structure shows. A Mason’s first step is to become an Entered Apprentice. He climbs to the third step where most Masons stay. – – Cephasministry.com – (Posted here: December 12, 2004)

Ritual for the 32 of Freemasonry, Scottish Rite – Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret – Commander-in-Chief, knocks once: If there be any present, with the exception of candidates, who are not Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, let them depart in peace, that our Consistory may be secure. – – presented by Leo Zagami, Jan 20, 2007 – (Posted here: Saturday, January 20, 2007)

Ritual for the 33 of Freemasonry, Scottish Rite – Sovereign Grand Inspector General – The lodge is hung with purple curtains, on which are painted skeletons, death heads, cross, bones etc. There are nine officers in this degree. The Master of the lodge is called the “Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander.” – – presented by Leo Zagami, Jan 20, 2007 – (Posted here: Saturday, January 20, 2007)

Freemasonry, Jesus, and Constantine the Pagan Worshipper – Many of the Christian preachers and leaders of today have been initiated into the so called secrets of Freemasonry. And they know that the story of Jesus Christ, as it is understood by the masses of the people, has it’s origin in mythology and paganism; yet they will not educate their following to this truth. – -by Leo Zagami, Jan 10, 2007 – (Posted here: Thursday, January 11, 2007)

The First Degree of Freemasonry – Only 5% of 32nd and higher degree freemasons are invited into the Illuminati. Many “Christians freemasons” would contend that freemasonry is not a religion. The plan of freemasonry is that the majority of freemasons do not even know it is a religion. The plan of freemasonry is to deceive the majority of freemasons from the truth that Lucifer, or Satan, is the god of freemasonry. – – The Federal Observer – (Posted here: Sep 12, 2005)

The Freemason’s 33 Initiation – Easter was approaching and one quiet morning I was at home recuperating from the second operation when the doorbell rang. It was a special delivery letter from the Supreme Council in Washington, notifying me that I had been selected for the 33rd Degree. I could hardly believe it was true! – – by Jim Shaw – (Posted here: Saturday, May 13, 2006)

The Masonic Seal of America – This is the Great Seal of the United States of America. It was designed by the Freemasons and contains a mass of symbolism that the profane (non masons) are not to understand. This article will once and for all prove that the Seal is a Masonic design. Have you ever asked the question ‘Why is there a Pyramid on our $1 note”? The religion of Freemasonry and some of it’s mysteries have descended from ancient Egypt whose mysteries descended from ancient Babylon. The Pyramid has of old been a fascination of Freemasons. It is a pagan temple of Satan worship. – – Endtimedeception – (Posted here: July 17, 2005)

Freemasons – Its Roots & Links to the Occult – The Royal Arch Degree shows that Masons are really Baal worshipers. Most Masons do it without realizing it by participating in rituals that they really don’t understand. However, a few top-level Masons (those in highest authority) know exactly what they are doing. – – Zephnet.com – (Posted here: March 28, 2006)

P2 – Formed in the 19th century by the Grande Orient of Italy for the elites, the organization evolved out of the violent organization known as the Carbonari. Pagan elements suffused the rituals of the organization to which all Grand Masters of Regular Italian Freemasonry belonged. The head was known as Naj Hannah (King Cobra). – – by Leo Zagami, June 27 2007 – (Posted here: Sunday, July 01, 2007)

The Real Secret Word of the Freemasons – The Freemasons have often been called satanic, which is something that they are very capable of fending off. While its rank and file members are ignorant of the purpose of the organization, some know. Freemasons deflect accusations of being a satanic society largely by employing the cover of being a philanthropic organization. But what is at the core of the Freemasons beliefs? – – by D.M., May 1, 2004 – (Posted here: January 6, 2005)

33 Degrees – Number of the Master – Why is 33 degrees associated with Mastery? This was the question I asked myself when I delved into Masonic symbolism while researching my novel Eclipse of the Soul. Being an astrologer, I was convinced it was a celestial reference, for we measure positions of the planets and stars in degrees, minutes and seconds. – – by Olga Morales (Astrologer) – (Posted here: January 10, 2005)

33rd Parallel Masonic Line of Death Row Human Sacrifice Ritual – THE 33RD PARALLEL: MASONIC LINE OF DEATH FOR PSYCHIC ENERGY – GEO-SPATIAL ALIGNMENT OF SOUTHERN DEATH ROWS & ABU GHRAIB AS EVIDENCE OF HUMAN SACRIFICE. RITUAL TO SUPERHUMAN ENTITIES FOR TEMPORAL POWER. The 33rd degree has long been associated with Freemasonry. – – RINF.com, Dec 28, 2005 – (Posted here: Jan 01, 2006)

Freemasons: The Silent Destroyers? – from Bilderberg.org (December 23, 2003)

Lucifer/Satan is the God of Freemasonry – from Freemasonic Teachings (December 23, 2003)

Click on Baphomet for enlargement and further explanation

The Bavarian Illuminati Today (Their Own Website) [Still alive and well. From Their Website (Liber Zion, Third Part): “22. Forever, I, Baphomet, will be your unique God, the only and legitimate God”. Wes Penre] – Gabriel Lpez de Rojas was born in Barcelona (Spain), in 1966, June 10th . When he was young, he stood out as an athlete and musician. In 1992, he was initiated in Freemasonry. And, in 1995, he founded Illuminati Order in Barcelona (Spain). [So Freemasonry is a Christian Religion, right??? Wes Penre] – The Illuminati Order – (August 8, 2004)

[And here is the obvious lie coming from the Freemasons themselves] The Infamous Baphomet – But how would such a respected religious order come to worship a head idol or engage in such evil? Likely, they didn’t! – -MasonicInfo.com – (Posted here: Oct 4, 2005)

Baphomet – Baphomet and the Worship of him in a Masonic Temple during the George Washington Era (Washington was himself a Freemason). Note the Knights Templar cross on the robes and what appears to be the Rosicrucian cross on Baphomet himself. And on their own website, in an attempt to defend themselves, the Freemasons bluntly lie and claim the Templars never worshipped Baphomet. As a fact, Freemasonry still does and so does the Illuminati. – – by Wes Penre, Illuminati News, Oct 4, 2005 – (Posted here: Oct 4, 2005)

Treasonous Masonic Corruption & Constitutional Resistance – La Cosa Nostra mafia was founded by freemason Mazzini, & IS masonic. Freemasons vow to protect each other. NSA coverups via unelected PD chiefs supplied by NSA list is how it works, (& special agents). – – by James Diebeck – (Posted here: Saturday, July 01, 2006)

The Billy Graham Deception – B’nai B’rith is an anti-christian jewish masonic lodge. They have a high rank in the Illuminati structure and they operate under several fronts. Not all the work they do is bad. They hunt nazis and usually fight again racism but being a form of Freemasonry, it operates as a secret society within a secret society, a circle within a circle etc, so that only the elite of this organization knows the real agenda and the normal jewish person working for them is doing the best they can. I will present as much documentation later on in this article to show the Masonic structure within this group, but first I will mention their link to Billy Graham. – – Endtimesdeception.com – (Posted here: Tuesday, June 26, 2007)

Freemasonry Watch

Grand Lodge Seals – The Freemasonic flags & Seals of each State in America – – Bessel.org – (Posted here: Nov 12, 2005)

The Story of Hiram Abiff – THE outstanding figure in modern Freemasonry is undoubtedly the widow’s son who is known to members of the Fraternity under the somewhat obscure name of Hiram Abiff. He dominates Craft Masonry… – – FreemasonryWatch.org – (Posted here: June 28, 2004)

Who Was Albert Pike? – Very few outsiders know about the intimate plans of Albert Pike and the architects of the New World Order. In the 19th Century Albert Pike established a framework for bringing about the One World Order. Based on a vision revealed to him, Albert Pike wrote a blueprint of events that would play themselves out in the 20th century, with even more of these events yet to come. – – ThreeWorldWars.com – (Posted here: Aug 30, 2005)

Albert Pike and Three World Wars – Albert Pike received a vision, which he described in a letter that he wrote to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871. This letter graphically outlined plans for three world wars that were seen as necessary to bring about the One World Order, and we can marvel at how accurately it has predicted events that have already taken place. – – ThreeWorldWars.com – (Posted here: Aug 30, 2005)

Freemasonry, Albert Pike, and the Ku Klux Klan – from Freemasonrywatch.org (January 23, 2004)

Jim Shaw – 33 Freemason – Speaks Out About the Deception of Freemasonry In His Book: “The Deadly Deception” – from Illuminati Conspiracy Website – (February 21, 2004)

List of Famous Freemasons – by Wes Penre – (January 3, 2004)

Famous Masons – Long list of famous Freemasons – – Suburban740.org – (Posted here: July 11, 2004)

Famous Masons Around the World – Space History that few people know: Buzz Aldrin unofficially established the Masonic Tranquility Lodge on the Moon. Aldrin is one of the few to attain the level of a 33rd Degree Mason. He shares this honor with President George Washington and many other U.S. Presidents (see list at bottom of page) and other famous Masons listed on this page. – – Masons in Space – (Posted here: May 6, 2005)

Famous and Infamous Demolays [Freemasons] – You will now see the power Freemasonry holds over much of America. Do not think that these men are not committed to Freemasonry because they were Demolays. Indeed, they are 100% committed to the phallic cult of the Lodge. – – Balaams.ass.com – (Posted here: August 25, 2004)

Founding Father’s Footsteps Followed – The exhibit explores Washington’s involvement in Freemasonry. It includes artifacts and documents that reveal Washington’s commitment to the fraternity and its principles and values [my emphasis]. Held by Masonic Lodges and Grand Lodges around the country, many of the objects, letters and minute books have rarely been available for public showing. – – MetroWest Daily News, March 20, 2005 – (Posted here: March 21, 2005)

Masonic Symbolism – Masonry is, according to its own philosophers, a system of pure religion expressed in symbols, one which cannot be understood without a knowledge of the true meaning of them. – – watch.pair.com – (Posted here: July 11, 2004)

Secret Masonic Handshakes, Passwords,Grips And Signs Of Blue Lodge Masonry – from Ephesians 5:11 Website – (Posted here: March 17, 2004)

An Example of How The Freemasons Control the Court (And Thus the Legal System) – by Wes Penre for Illuminati News, March 30, 2004 – (Posted here: March 30, 2004)

Psychopaths, Secret Societies And the New World Order – by Jerry Russell and Richard Stanley – (Posted here: April 19, 2004)

US Presidents and Freemasonry – …the Illuminati would gradually position members into key power positions over time and ultimately attempt to dominate every industry including the banking industry and finally the world. To set the record straight, here are some very important facts which need to be known: – – David Icke’s “Research Material” – (Posted here: October 9, 2004)

United States Presidents and The Masonic Power Structure – This article is not intended to defame this country’s forefathers. See Secret Societies All I am doing here is listing the facts. I will list other authors articles for you to refer to as corroboration. These names were compiled from the Masons own list of famous names posted on there websites. (See Links Below) The names used in this document have been used from that list along with a brief summary of who they were,(*Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition.) and the role they played in our history. Keep in mind, you can not be a Christian and a practicing Mason, its an oxymoron. – – by Robert Howard – (Posted here: December 10, 2004)

Movie Puts Spotlight on Freemasons [How Hollywood, in “National Treasure”, promotes Freemasonry and makes people interested in joining. The Masons are currently running a campaign to recruit new members, Wes Penre] – “There’s just tremendous symbolism in that movie,” said Roush, Marion, who has been a Freemason for almost 40 years. I know a lot of it is legend, but it’s just fascinating.” – – Chronicle-Tribune.com – (Posted here: December 13, 2004)

The Turkish Experiment with Westernization – “What is more troubling with modern Turkey (since 1909) is that its secularist fundamentalist leadership has had been directly linked with Freemasonry. The leaders of the Turkish Masonic lodges are subordinate to those of Tel Aviv and France and Italy, taking directive from them. There lies the explanation for Turkeys roles vis–vis the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Arab/Muslim world.” – – Media Monitors Network – (Posted here: January 8, 2005)

Benjamin Franklin, the Occult and The Elite – In 1998, workmen restoring Franklin’s London home dug up the remains of six children and four adults hidden below the home. The London Times reported on February 11, 1998: – – Infowars.com – (Posted here: January 12, 2005)

Mankind’s Death Wish – Architects of Deception, a 600-page history of Freemasonry by Estonian writer Juri Lina offers profound insight into the true character of modern history. – – by Henry Makow, Ph.D., Jan 15, 2005 – (Posted here: January 15, 2005)

‘Are You Masons?’ Challenge to Judges – Three judges yesterday refused to reveal whether they were Freemasons after being challenged by a veteran human rights campaigner. – – News.Telegraph, Febr 19, 2003 – (Posted here: February 2, 2005)

Lifting Lid on Judges’ Secret Society – An unprecedented legal hearing into a secret society which boasts some of Scotland’s top judges among its members opened in Edinburgh yesterday amid claims the judges’ membership breaches human rights law. – Guardian Limited, Feb 19, 2003 – (Posted here: February 2, 2005)

Exhibit Reveals Masons’ Influence – WASHINGTON — Some of the most famous buildings in Washington, including the White House, are deeply marked by Freemasonry, the brotherhood that goes back to the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, says a new exhibit. The show is called “The Initiated Eye: Secrets, Symbols, Freemasonry and the Architecture of Washington, D.C.” It opened to the public Wednesday. – – Associated Press, May 22, 2005 – (Posted here: May 26, 2005)

Henry Kissinger

Excerpt from:
Illuminati News: Secret Societies

The Coming Defeat of NATO – Washington Free Beacon

 NATO  Comments Off on The Coming Defeat of NATO – Washington Free Beacon
Oct 032015
 

Screenshot from YouTube

BY: Matthew Continetti October 2, 2015 5:00 am

The North AtlanticTreaty Organization, established in 1949, has 28 members devoted to the idea of collective security. Prediction: By the time President Obama leaves office in 2017, the NATO pledge of mutual defense in response to aggression will have been exposed as worthless. Objectively the alliance will have ceased to exist. The culprits? Vladimir Putinand Barack Obama.

Right now the world is focused on the Middle East: Russian jets and bombers, operating from an expanding air base in Syria, strike opponents of dictator and war criminal Bashar al-Assad. The Russians say they are going after Islamic Statebut theres no evidence they are doing so. Nor do they have reason to, considering the aimof Putins war is to preserve Assads rule and to expand, for the first time in decades, Russias sphere of influence into the Middle East.

Key to Putins strategy, write analysts Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan, is the doctrine of reflexive control: establishing facts on the ground in such a way that the enemy chooses Russias preferred course of action voluntarily, because it is easiest and all the others appear much more difficult and risky, if not impossible.

Doesnt have to be this way. Moscows propaganda notwithstanding, Russia is a weak state with a deteriorating military capability, whose claim to great power status is based on its nuclear arsenal. But, by acting decisively and provocatively, Putin has found the means by which to reassert Russian sovereignty and preeminence and ward off challenges to his authoritarian regime.

Revisit Putins 2007 speech to the Munich security conference, where he said the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in todays world. The expansion of NATO, he went on, represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. Then came the threat: Russia is a country with a history that spans more than 1,000 years and has practically always used the privilege to carry out an independent foreign policy. We are not going to change this tradition today.

The next year the governments of GermanyandFrance, frightened by Putins rhetoric and reliant on Russian energy and arms deals, scuttledthe U.S. attemptto offer NATO membership to the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine. Deprived of NATOs security guarantee, both of these small and poor and new democracies became open prey. Putin invaded Georgia in 2008. Hecontinues to exert influence there.

The techniques of reflexive control found their ultimate patsy in Barack Obama. When it became clear in 2013 that the president had no interest in enforcing his red line against chemical weapons use in Syria, Putin and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov pounced. Lavrov suggested in public that Russia would assist the United States in destroying Assads WMD stockpile. Obama, whose greatest fear is a major deployment of U.S. ground forces in the Middle East, couldnt help sayingyes. Suddenly Americawas partnering with the governments of Russia and Syria (and by extension Iran) to inspect and remove the munitions. This decision not only averted U.S. interventionand gauranteedAssads survival. ItallowedAssad to gas his population in the future.

In 2014, when protests forced Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych to flee to his backers in Moscow, Putin saw an opportunity to reclaim Ukraine from the West. His military buildup on Ukraines eastern border deterred NATO from harsh reprisals when the Russian parliament annexed Crimea. The techniques of maskirovkadisinformation and deceitprovided cover for Russias arming and training and staffing of anti-Kiev rebels in the east.

Sanctions and nasty words have not exacted enough of a cost to stop Putin from instigating and perpetuating a civil war whosedeath toll is in the thousands. President Obama has overruled his advisers and refuses to provide lethal defensive arms for pro-Western Ukrainians, believing, amazingly, that helping Kiev defend itself would escalate the situation.The Ukraine conflict is now frozenPutin can switch it on and off at will. Hisgoals remain: to efface Western pretentions to ideological and military supremacy, and to replace President Petro Poroshenko with a Kremlin stooge.

Two weeks ago, in a phone call with itsprime minister, Vice President Biden signaledAmerica will support Montenegros application for NATO membership. Good for him. But we should recognize nonetheless that this move is a fig-leaf. Itobscures the fact that Obama would otherwise be the first president in a generation not to preside over an expansion of NATO. So the White House supports a strategically insignificant nation surrounded by member states. Woo-wee. Its a metaphor for this administrations lackadaisical commitment to the allianceand for Europes.

The Kremlin has noticed this ambivalence. Russian intervention in Syria is about more than propping up Assad. Russian leadership of a pro-Assad coalition that includes Iran and Iraq effectively displaces America as the most influentialexternal power in the region. Russian provocations have forced Washington to plead for de-confliction, handing Moscow freedom of action over Syrian, and possibly Iraqi, airspace. And the location of the Russian base opens an additional front in Putins war against NATO.

Less than 50 miles from the border of Turkeya NATO memberthe Bassel al-Assad airbase gives Putins air force the ability to buzz and overfly not only Turkey but also U.S. allies Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. It also would allow, write the Kagans, his aircraft to shadow the U.S. Sixth Fleet around the Eastern Mediterranean. He could force Turkey and its NATO allies to establish standing combat air patrols along the southern Turkish border. The chances of a deadly incident increase every day.

Putin is boxing in NATO. His next target is the Baltic States. Last Sunday on 60 Minutes, he explained that the reason he has called the collapse of the Soviet Union the worst thing to happen in the last century isthat, in an instant, 25 million people found themselves beyond the borders of the Russian state. His goal is to reclaim themto unify Russians living abroad in the Baltics, in Ukraine, and beyond.

Raimonds Vejonis, president of Latvia, tells the Wall Street Journal that Russian sorties over the Baltics nations are on the rise. In his full interview with Charlie Rose, Putin singled out Lithuania: More than half of the citizens have left the country, he lied. Can you imagine a situation where more than half of the Americans left the territory of the United States? It would be a catastrophe!

Try this scenario: Sometime in the next 16 months, civil unrest breaks out in one or more of the Baltic States. Its the Russian population, calling for independence from the central government and closer ties to Moscow. Fighting erupts as Russian tanks mass along the border and jets fly over Riga or Vilnius or Tallinn. They are all targets. Take Vilnius: While there are few ethnic Russians in Lithuania, it is the land bridge between Mother Russia and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. Supplying Kaliningrad wouldbe Putins casus belli.

The Baltic authorities call on NATO to respondinvoking Article Four of the charter, which requires consultations, and possibly Article Five, requiring force.But the West is distracted. Europe is overwhelmed by crises in Greece and Ukraine, by the U.K. referendum to leave the E.U., by ongoing Muslim migration to the north. The United States is occupied by its presidential election, by Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan, by economic shocks.

The cries for assistance go unheard. The Obama administration has refused even to try to secure permanent forward bases in the Balticswhich wouldprovide a credible deterrentapparently due to the belief that providing for a real defense is provocative. We are too busy, too self-absorbed, too confused to worry about promises made years ago. Obama wont arm the Ukrainians. What makes us think hed defendthe Lithuanians or Latvians or Estonians?

Before the White House recovers from its surprise at events in the Baltics, Putin will have achieved his strategic goals and established reflexive control over the situation. PresidentObama and Chancellor Merkel and Secretary of State Kerry are sure to proclaim that the arc of history will defeat Russia, even as they accommodate themselves to Putins reality. NATO will be exposed as a covenant without the sword. And millions of East Europeans will come under Vladimir Putins thumb. Victims of the Kremlins avarice. Victims of Obamas weakness.

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The Coming Defeat of NATO – Washington Free Beacon

Offshore Tax Havens – Caribbean Tax Havens

 Tax Havens  Comments Off on Offshore Tax Havens – Caribbean Tax Havens
Sep 282015
 

Home / Caribbean Tax Havens

Caribbean tax havens are amongst the worlds most popular and well respected tax havens. The Caribbean region has been known to produce outstanding tax havens which are also offshore jurisdictions. Tax havens in the Caribbean are known for the benefits they provide for a large client base: some of the benefits of Caribbean tax havens include, reducing tax liability and providing privacy. Some of the more respected tax havens in the Caribbean are Dominica, St Kitts, Nevis, Barbados, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Belize and the Bahamas among others.

Tax havens are best described as countries which provide shelter from taxation. Taxes imposed in a tax haven can be very low or nonexistent. A tax haven which imposes no taxes is usually referred to as a pure tax haven and the Caribbean has many of these. Most countries in the Caribbean resorted to becoming tax havens as a means of maintaining their local economies and removing the dependency on more developed nations, a trend once very prevalent in the region.

As offshore tax havens countries in the Caribbean region offer professional offshore services which include the incorporation of offshore companies or international business companies, offshore banking, the formation of offshore (exempt ) trusts, the formation of limited liability companies (LLCs), exempt insurance and reinsurance, the registration of vessels and ships and the formation of foundations among other services. These offshore services are all backed by modern and progressive legislation each possessing distinct characteristics based on the country of origin.

The offshore havens of the Caribbean are well known to provide clients with legal means to reduce international taxes. All the offshore tax havens mentioned above are pure tax havens with the exception of Barbados which taxes offshore business companies a small percentage of its overall annual profits. Barbados imposes taxes on its offshore business companies at the low rate of between 1 and 2.5% and the amount of taxes paid are calculated based on the profits of the offshore corporation. The other Caribbean tax havens charge offshore business companies zero taxes on profits gained from outside of the jurisdiction. Offshore jurisdictions such as Dominica guarantees an offshore business company a 20 year period of tax exemptions as stipulated by the offshore legislation. Caribbean offshore jurisdictions also exempt offshore business companies, trusts and foundations from Stamp Duty on transactions made on behalf of these entities.

Tax havens in the Caribbean all provide privacy for the beneficial owners of offshore business companies and bank account holders. In most offshore jurisdictions in the Caribbean, legislation has been passed prohibiting the disclosure of information regarding beneficial owners of offshore companies, foundations, trusts and bank accounts. In the offshore jurisdiction of Nevis for example, privacy is protected by the Confidentiality Relationship Act. In the Commonwealth of Dominica divulging information regarding offshore business companies results in a monetary fine and a possible prison sentence.

Most of the major tax havens in the Caribbean have not signed double tax treaties with other countries in the world, making tax information of clients safe from the tax authorities in the respective resident countries. Caribbean tax havens further provide privacy for offshore clients by enabling them to incorporate offshore business companies with the use of nominee shareholders and directors. This practice is allowed in Nevis, Dominica, Anguilla among others.

The tax havens of the Caribbean have been around for over one decade and have great experience in providing asset protection for clients and, Caribbean tax havens are good at providing secrecy for clients.

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Offshore Tax Havens – Caribbean Tax Havens

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism